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Hyundai is apparently branching out into a very different kind of transportation. The Korean carmaker is developing a robotic exoskeleton that increases the wearer’s strength significantly.

Hyundai displays their mechanical exoskeleton suit prototype. The company’s suit is a dark-blue exoskeleton mech robot with a safety harness in it. The user can move the arms freely and the vast ‘alien style’ mechanical legs that have a tackle to position the feet into.

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Hyundai is on a mission to manufacture fully mechanized suits that allows users to infuse robotics into everyday tasks. the hyundai exoskeleton can lift up to 50 kilograms over long distances and supervising super-human duties.

The progress being made is part of the company’s ‘next mobility’ project which plans to help paraplegics, the physically disabled and the elderly, as well as hyundai’s workers on the manufacturing line. similar programs by suitX, berkeley bionics and lockheed martin have made the news as well. with progress being made so quickly, by so many companies, exoskeletons have the possibility to be ready for mass production within the next decade.

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Hyundai actually has some previous experience with robot suits. Last year, it unveiled the H-LEX “wearable walking assistant.” This was a much lighter-duty apparatus meant to help senior citizens walk. The company also showed a scaled-down version of its new exoskeleton, with leg pieces only, designed for a similar purpose. The larger version could be used by factory workers, who already use standalone robots to do their jobs.

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"This wearable robot that we are developing for commercial purposes will be used in diverse areas," a company official said.

According to Hyundai, the suit can increase the productivity of the workers significantly and lower accidents that cause hip and knee injuries. It will be useful in a workplace where people needs to lift over a hundred of kilograms objects, they added. Similarly, the ‘wearable robot’ can also be used by soldiers to run long distances without breaking a sweat. Even they are carrying 50 kilograms of equipment.

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"Such a robot development is in line with Hyundai Motor Group's vision for free mobility of people and things."

The company also aims that their technology will also help people with disabilities or limited mobility. Furthermore, the company offers an exoskeleton version that the civilians can wear which gives the user stability. The suit can help elders to walk around independently and also to be a part of the rehabilitation programs for the patients with injuries.

Hyundai Motor Group

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Full Size Humanoid Robot

THORMANG3 Introduction Video

Team SNU (Seoul National University) is composed of three subgroups: Dynamic Robotic Systems Lab (DYROS Lab), Machine Intelligence & Pattern Analysis Lab (MIPAL Lab), and SimLab (private company). Team SNU uses THORMANG developed by ROBOTIS. DYROS lab is in charge of control aspect of the robot and overall team management for DRC. The lab develops advanced intelligent robotic systems and their control algorithms so that they can interact with humans in our human environment. The main research areas are whole-body multi-contact control, robot–environment interaction, biomechanics, human motion analysis, compliant actuators, and robotic arts.

THORMANG3 Goes Shopping

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Results at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals 2015

MIPAL works on perception part of the robot for Team SNU. MIPAL at Seoul National University studies a broad spectrum of subjects relevant to pattern recognition and machine learning using statistical analysis. MIPAL’s main area of interest includes object recognition, object detection, pattern classification, statistical data analysis, Image processing and Computer vision. SimLab provides the software framework and interface to the robot for Team SNU. The company makes the complete software and hardware solutions for the robotics research, development, and educational communities. SimLab’s products include RoboticsLab™(robotic system modeling tools and real-time dynamics simulation SDK) and RealtimeRobotics™(real-time robot control SDK), as well as robot HW platforms: Allegro Dog/Arm/Hand™(quadruped, manipulator, and 16-DOF robotic hand).

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Basic Feature

Stable Walking with Human-Friendly Scale, Mission Capability using Adaptive Gripper, Powerful Dual PC-level Computing with Intel NUC, Various Sensing with Force/Torque Sensor, LIDAR/IMU/Camera, Full ROS Support with 3D CAD data and Open-Source SDK, DYNAMIXEL PRO based Modular Design with Full Metal Body, Best for SLAM, Locomotion, Manipulation and HRI Research
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Height: 42 kgs

Weight: 137.5cm

Controller (PC) : Intel® NUC with Intel® Core™ i5 Processor

Sensor : Logitech C920 HD Camera x 1, Intel Realsense x 1, Hokuyo UTM-30LX-EW x 1, F/T Sensor : ATi Mini58-SI-2800-120 x 2, IMU : MicroStrain 3DM-GX4-25 x 1

Actuator : DYNAMIXEL PRO H-Series

DOF : Head : 2DOF, ARM : 7DOF x 2, Waist : 1DOF, Under body : 6DOF x 2, (Gripper x 2)

Battery : LIPO 22.2V 22,000mA & 18.5V 11,000mA

Control Environment : OS : Linux Ubuntu LTS (64bit), SW : ROS / GNU C++ (g++), Library : Motor Control, Manipulation, Head Control, Walking Engine, Sensor control

DYROS : DYnamic RObotic Systems Lab

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World's First Human-Driven Bipedal Giant Robot A giant South Korean-built manned robot that walks like a human but makes the ground shake under its weight has taken its first baby steps.

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The robot itself looks like one of the military robots in the movie "Avatar." A pilot inside the torso moves his arms to control the robot's upper limbs. (This kind of design is known as a "mech.") The robot is tethered by a power cable above, but walks several steps in the video clips.

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METHOD-2, Vitaly Bulgarov

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Method 1 The designer, Vitaly Bulgarov

A pilot sitting inside the robot's torso makes limb movements which are mimicked by Method-2, whose metal arms each weigh 130 kilograms (286 pounds). The robot, more than twice the size of a tall man, is so heavy that it shakes the ground when it takes a step with a loud whirring of motors.

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Designed by a veteran of science fiction blockbusters, the four-metre-tall (13-foot), 1.5 ton Method-2 towers over a room on the outskirts of Seoul. "Our robot is the world's first manned bipedal robot and is built to work in extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go (unprotected)," said company chairman Yang Jin-Ho. While its enormous size has grabbed media attention, the creators of Method-2 say the project's core achievement is the technology they developed and enhanced along the way. "Everything we have been learning so far on this robot can be applied to solve real-world problems," said designer Vitaly Bulgarov on his Facebook page. He has previously worked on film series such as Transformers, Robocop and Terminator.

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The designer, Vitaly Bulgarov, told Live Science that the robot is real. However, he declined to share the names of scientists or engineers working on the project, and messages to the purported CEO of the company went unreturned.

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Bulgarov said dampers in the robot's feet make its motion smooth. He also said the robot wasn't built for use as is but as a platform to show off various technical feats, like the human-machine interface for moving the arms or the bipedal locomotion. Right now, he said the robot couldn't walk on an uneven surface but might be useful for industrial purposes, though there are no plans to use the robot in its current state. The cockpit and arms could be attached to a wheeled vehicle for rough terrain, Bulgarov said. The company is considering applications such as cleanup at the Fukushima power plant, which was damaged during the 2011 tsunami in Japan, Bulgarov said.

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Yang, who dreamed as a child of building his own robot, said he has invested 242 billion won ($200 million) in the project since 2014 to "bring to life what only seemed possible in movies and cartoons". Building the giant robot was a challenge for the engineers - most of them in their mid and late 30s - as its unprecedented scale meant they had nothing to refer to, said one who declined to be named. So far, it remains unclear how the robot will be used. Method-2 is seen more as a test-bed for various technologies that will allow the creators to build any type and size of robot in future. Yang said they have already received inquiries from industries ranging from manufacturing and construction to entertainment. There have even been questions about its possible deployment along the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone with North Korea. But the robot, tethered by a power cable and still a bit wobbly on its feet, is far from finished. More work is needed on its balance and power systems, according to its creators. "The robot is one year old so it is taking baby steps," Yang said. "Just like humans, it will be able to move more freely in the next couple of years." He said the robot will be ready for sale by the end of 2017 at a price of around 10 billion won ($8.3 million).

Hankook Mirae Technology
Vitaly Bulgarov

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