Roomba – Human Robot Interaction?

36 Million Faces in a Second

This camera system by Hitachi Kokusai Electric can capture, scan and recognize 36 million faces in an image in one second. This surveillance technology places it far above the competition.

Hitachi’s software is able to recognize a face with up to 30 degrees of deviation turned vertically and horizontally away from the camera, and requires faces to fill at least 40 pixels by 40 pixels for accurate recognition. Any image, whether captured on a mobile phone, handheld camera, or a video still, can be uploaded and  searched against its database for matches.

This reminds me of image scanning software used to track people in movies like “Eagle Eye”. This will enable large organisations like governments to perform large scale tracking of crowded spaces for security or marketing reasons.

facebook and face.com use another method to collect and store a database of their own. By using crowd sourcing, they are able to more accurately identify face features on the many photos online.

 

 

The Humanoid Grand Challenge [DARPA] is Finally Here!

This is a long awaited competition for robotics is here. This should hopefully drive research in this field. Many humanoids have always been showed in staged environments given the difficulties in getting them to perform in the real world.

There are many difficulties that has to be overcomed but actuator design. Dr. Gill Pratt, DARPA’s program director, is in-charge of this challenge. He is familiar with this field, given he is the inventor of the Series Elastic Actuator at MIT where he was developing robots for locomotion. He’s the right person to drive this development.

Here’s a good article about actuators used in legged robots.

There has been many advancement in using traditional electric servo motor solutions to locomotion. Petman at Boston Dynamics and DLR with their Bipedal Robot.

Robocup has a similar goal in development of humanoids as well.

By mid-21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win the soccer game, comply with the official rule of the FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup.

[source: robocup.org]

Link to the announcement at Hizook and Wired.