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Lecture by Professor Wyatt Newman, Hung Hing Ying Distinguished Visiting Professor in Science & Technology

Team HKU and the DARPA Robotics Challenge: Progress Towards Humanoid Autonomy

Professor Wyatt Newman, Hung Hing Ying Distinguished Visiting Professor in Science & Technology, the University of Hong Kong, gave a lecture on August 19, 2014 titled “Team HKU and the DARPA Robotics Challenge: Progress Towards Humanoid Autonomy”.

Team HKU, based at University of Hong Kong, is competing in the international DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) with a Boston Dynamics, Inc. “Atlas” humanoid robot.  DRC tasks, based on a disaster-response scenario, include: driving a vehicle, walking over rough terrain, clearing rubble, opening doors and passing through doorways, climbing ladders, using power tools, and turning valves.  Team HKU’s experience from the DRC “trials” in December, 2013 demonstrated that teleoperation is impractically slow and clumsy in such tasks, motivating development of more robot autonomy.  Team HKU has since made rapid progress in making Atlas more independent.  This talk reviewed techniques and results for endowing Atlas with skills that were applicable to the DRC as well as a wide range of future applications.  Live demonstrations in the Advanced Robotics Laboratory were performed following the talk and the audience, which comprised sponsors, industrialists, the University officers and teachers, students from the University as well as secondary schools, were overwhelmed by Atlas’ performance.

Lecture by Professor Newman

Altas humanoid robot

The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Engineering