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RoMeLa | DARwIn OP: Open Platform Humanoid Robot for Research and Education
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Open Platform Humanoid Robot for Research and Education

Dennis Hong

RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Lab),


Daniel Lee

GRASP Laboratory,

University of Pennsylvania

Robot Name: Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence

Principal Investigator: Dr. Dennis Hong

Researchers: Jeakweon Han

Height: 455 mm (17.9 in)

Weight: 2.8 kg (6.2 lb)

Motors: Robotis Dynamixel

Computing: FitPC

Vision: USB Webcam

Power: LiPo batteries

Objectives and Topics

DARwIn-OP (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence – Open Platform) is an affordable, miniature-humanoid-robot platform with advance computational power, sophisticated sensors, high payload capacity, and dynamic motion ability to enable many exciting research, education, and outreach activities. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States, DARwIn-OP has been developed by RoMeLa at Virginia Tech with collaboration with University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University and Robotis Co., based on the award winning DARwIn series humanoid robots in development since 2004. In July 2011, Team DARwIn competed at RoboCup in Istanbul, Turkey winning first place against 24 international teams.

DARwIn-OP is a true open platform where users are encouraged to modify it in both hardware and software, and various software implementations are possible (C++, Python, LabVIEW, MATLAB, etc.) The open source hardware is not only user serviceable thanks to its modular design, but also can be fabricated by the user. Publicly open CAD files for all of its parts, and instructions manuals for fabrication and assembly are available on-line for free.

A number of DARwIn-OP units will be fabricated and built by Robotis Co. for distribution to 11 partner universities (including major research universities, RUI institutions, a women’s college, and two local high schools) and will utilize them in their classroom teaching and projects as well as outreach activities.

The objective of this annual workshop is to; introduce DARwIn-OP to the humanoid robotics community to broaden the DARwIn-OP project and form a user community; train the users for use in research, education, and outreach activities; disseminate results of the usage of DARwIn-OP in the classroom; and to obtain feedback from the users for future improvements.

Scope of Coverage

About 10 DARwIn-OP units will be made available to the participants during the workshop for hands-on activities and testing. After the workshop, a number of DARwIn-OP units will be distributed to selected participants from the partner universities.

  • Introduction and demonstrations
  • Mechanical hardware (overview, dis/assembly, fabrication, maintenance)
  • Electronics (overview, computing unit, microcontroller, sensors, power)
  • Software (architecture, programming, various implementation examples)
  • Programming examples and hands-on activities (omni-directional walking, vision based localization, object pick and place, autonomous behaviors for robot soccer)


This workshop is sponsored by NSF under grant CNS-0958406.


IROS 2011 Room #2

September 25, 2011

For Registration:

9:00 ~ 9:30 Introduction: the NSF DARwIn-OP & Research Activities

9:40 ~ 10:10 Hardware Architecture

10:20 ~ 10:50 Software Architecture

11:00 ~ 12:00 Basic Demo & Tutorial

12:00 ~ 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 ~ 14:20 Programming DARwIn-OP with LabVIEW

14:30 ~ 15:20 DARwIn-OP Simulation with Webots

15:30 ~ 16:20 Robot Soccer Programming Open Source

16:30 ~ 17:00 Q&A