Virginia Tech Students Build Full-Sized Humanoid Robot

As CHARLI takes his first steps, anxious onlookers stand ready to catch him if he falls. His stride is short, but upright, as a single foot is placed in front of the other within the basement of Virginia Tech’s Randolph Hall.But CHARLI is no toddler.He is a 5-foot tall humanoid robot constructed by graduate and undergraduate students with the Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory.

Virginia Tech Robototics

CHARLI (Cognitive Humanoid Autonomous Robot with Learning Intelligence) is historic. CHARLI may be the very first untethered, autonomous, full-sized, walking, humanoid robot with four moving limbs and a head, built in the United States. His two long legs and arms can move and gesture thanks to a combination of pulleys, springs, carbon fiber rods, and actuators. CHARLI soon is going to be in a position to talk as well. Fans of robotics are taking note.

“This is a significant milestone in robotics engineering and is a testament towards the technological leadership of Virginia Tech’s RoMeLa lab,” said Tom Atwood, editor of “Robot” magazine.That research is under way, there are two CHARLIs.

CHARLI H (for Heavy), is a bulkier robot will utilize custom-designed actuators and other technologies that a single day will allow it walk about the sloping, rising ground that comprises Virginia Tech’s campus. He also is going to be able to run, jump, kick, open doors, pick up objects, and do just about anything a real individual can do.

The students constructed CHARLI L with $20,000 in seed money from the Virginia Tech Student Engineers’ Council and donated equipment from National Instruments and Maxon Precision Motors. “The spending budget constraints really inspired us to think of different solutions, ‘How can we actually make this happen with a little spending budget?' And that actually led us to new kinds of mechanical solutions,” Hong mentioned.

Function about the robot began in 2008 with 13 undergraduate and graduate students working on the project at any given time. Inspiration came from science-fiction films and spouses.Atwood said he is excited for the future. “Eventually, there is going to be a robot in every home assisting families and people, and walking robots will find work in all kinds of places, from warehouses to manufacturing centers,” he said.

Learn more about CHARLI and the Virginia Tech Robotics Lab by visiting romela.org. Interested in getting a robot kit for yourself or a school project check out our listing of beginner robot kits or more advanced robot kits on Cool Robot Toys.


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