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ITSA General Assembly: December 5th - 12th

Author Topic: Top-throwing robot  (Read 326 times)

Jeremy McCreary

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Top-throwing robot
« on: January 04, 2019, 05:00:11 PM »

Sorry guys, human throwing-top players may soon be replaced by robots...

Abstract from a 2016 engineering conference presentation: A humanoid robot toying a spinning top: Analysis and design...
Quote
There exists certain unusual and highly demanding human motor tasks that require bimanual high-end dexterous skills, such as throwing a curve ball, skating, RipStik caster boarding, to name a few, wherein precise fast nonlinear dynamics and advanced robust control play a major role. Similarly, the spinning top (ST), an amazingly popular toy across cultures from millennia, has recently motivated formal research due to its apparent complex perplexing physics that maintains it upright without falling even when its rotational axis is inclined, a motion regime we call “dancing”. In this paper, a humanoid robot (HR) that replicates the throwing and dancing motion regimes of a 6D ST toy (STT) is proposed, using full nonlinear models. A finite-time continuous robust, yet model-and chattering-free controller is synthesized for the HR to track the aggressive but smooth trajectories from a real-time motion capture system of an expert human player. Simulations show the successful throwing and dancing of STT. Moreover, analysis suggests a trade-off on theoretical and practical aspects subject to current HR technological limitations.

Nice to hear they succeeded -- or is it? The Great Robot Uprising is just a matter of when. So what happens when robot overlords are the only ones allowed to play with tops, Mr. Smartypants scientists?

« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 05:08:46 PM by Jeremy McCreary »
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Top-throwing robot
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 08:12:25 PM »

I am no smartypants scientist but I can guarantee that a robot will not enjoy spinning a top as much as I do.
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ta0

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Re: Top-throwing robot
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 08:41:06 PM »

We are all being replaced  . . . not! As The Earl said, they cannot have more fun than we do!  ;D

Seven authors: 6 from Mexico and 1 from Chile.   ;)

From the abstract it seems that they modeled the throw by an humanoid robot based on an "expert" spintop player and in simulations the top spun correctly.
It doesn't appear that at the time of publishing (Nov. 2016) they had already tried it with a physical robot and a top. I might write to one of the authors and ask for a copy of the paper or more info.
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Top-throwing robot
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 06:02:31 PM »

I might write to one of the authors and ask for a copy of the paper or more info.

Dying to know more about the trade-offs mentioned in the last sentence of the abstract. I searched and searched for a free PDF without luck.

Sounds like their goal was a humanoid robot capable of getting a top to "dance" (precess) on the ground by throwing it. Of course, that's just square one in human peg top play. But still hard to imagine a robot mastering such a task -- even if a human does the winding.

Then again, robots can do some pretty amazing things these days.
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Top-throwing robot
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 11:33:37 PM »

Found a video made for the conference presentation described in the abstract...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH4SF8a0v5w

The proposed robot's more industrial and less "humanoid" than I'd imagined, but an interesting project nonetheless.
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ta0

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Re: Top-throwing robot
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 10:44:00 AM »

Thanks for sharing the video. I'm really curious if they modeled the behavior of the spinning top while unwinding in the air. I have never seen a paper dealing with the physics of that process, so I doubt it. But I'll find out.
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