CNR 2012: Participants: Engineered Arts Ltd (GRB)
From this work the company identified a niche market for a novel and versatile communication and education platform. This developed in the form of a full sized humanoid robot, 'RoboThespian', which was envisioned as a flexible and engaging technology for the delivery of information in a science education context.
The first RoboThespians (RT1), were unveiled to the public in 2007 at The Eden Project. They were limited in their interactive capability, but provided a development framework for subsequent research.
When work began on the successor to RT1, Engineered Arts embarked on an ambitious software development programme. Control electronics and embedded firmware for the control of the humanoid robot system were developed from scratch, and incorporated novel control algorithms coupled with a unique hardware design.
To date, over 30 RoboThespians have now been installed at public attractions worldwide including prestigious venues such as NASA's Kennedy Space Center, and the National Science Museums of Spain, Australia, Israel and Macao.
The third generation of RoboThespian is the most advanced and reliable yet. Meanwhile, the Engineered Arts R&D team continue to develop innovative new ways for RoboThespian to impress and interact.
The API (Application Programming Interface) is open to external researchers and developers. Bristol Robot Lab at the University of the West of England, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill USA and the University of Barcelona have adopted RoboThespian as an academic research platform for the study of HRI (Human Robot Interaction).
[image source: Yves Gilles, Engineered
[source: Vive Les Robots!]