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Nao humanoid climbs spiral staircase, breakfast in bed is around the corner (video)

Sarah Silbert
07.24.12
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Robots can clean your pool and pick up after your lavish dinner parties, but what use is Mr. Nao when you're ringing for a nightcap from the comfort of your second-floor bedroom? Okay, so we've seen the odd bot take a journey up some stairs, but how many cyborgs are prepared to scale flights that twist and turn? Researchers from the University of Freiburg's Humanoid Robots Laboratory have demonstrated a Nao humanoid capable of climbing spiral staircases, which, of course, are more challenging to scale than their non-curving counterparts. A laser range scanner on the top of the robot's head provides a global estimation of the bot's position, and the humanoid uses a 3D model of the staircase to match up with the images it captures on each step. This system lets it get a good enough grip on its geography to successfully detect stair edges and make it to the top with nary a trip. Take a look for yourself in the video below.


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