The DARwIn (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence) series robot is a family of humanoid robots capable of bipedal walking and performing human-like motions. DARwIn is a research platform developed at the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) at Virginia Tech for studying robot locomotion and sensing. It was also utilized as the base platform for Virginia Tech's first entry to the humanoid division of RoboCup 2007. The 560 mm tall, 3.6 kg robot (the latest version of DARwIn) has 20 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) with each joint actuated by coreless DC motors via distributed control with controllable compliance. Using a computer vision system and IMU, DARwIn can implement human-like gaits while navigating obstacles and traverse uneven terrain while implementing complex behaviors such as playing soccer.
For RoboCup 2010, Team VT DARwIn from the Humanoid League and UPennalizers from the Standard Platform League are teaming up together to form Team DARwIn in the Humanoid League. With Virginia Tech's expertise in mechanical design and University of Pennsylvania's expertise in software engineering and strategy, we hope to develop a a formidable opponent to compete in RoboCup.
The RoboCup competition is a well-known, landmark project in the robotics communities. It presents a standard problem of working towards developing a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players that can beat the human world soccer champions by 2050. Building a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots with such abilities requires research and technological advances in many areas in robotics sciences and engineering. Contributing to these areas is necessary to improve the effectiveness and reliability of robots in the real world.