Domo (robot) - Origin


The home of the Domo Project is with the Humanoid Robotics Group (HRG) at MIT Artificial Intelligence (AI) Labs. Its existence is inspired by the robot projects that came before it.

The Cardea Robot Project was a research project led by Professor Rodney Brooks in the Humanoid Robotics Group at MIT. The lab group worked to create a cable-drive brushless Series Elastic Actuator arm mounted to a Segway platform. Jeff Weber and Aaron Edsinger-Gonzales were a part of this research, specifically responsible for the design and implementation of the robotic arm. This collaboration allowed Edsinger-Gonzales and Weber to take some of the research and apply it to a new robot, Domo.

Edsinger and Weber collaborated on many other robots as well, and their experience working with the Kismet page and Cog projects influenced the design of Domo. Kismet was a robotic head developed by Cynthia Breazeal for experimenting with social expressions and cues. Edsinger's role in the project was helping to develop the early stages of Kismet's eye detection module, which allowed Kismet to make eye contact while interacting. The Cog project was intended to explore the way that intelligence is formed through social interaction. The Cog robot was designed to emulate the human body's motor points and limbs and to accept input stimuli from these so that it could use its limbs in a human-like way. Edsinger's contribution to the Cog project was a Series Elastic Actuator arm and controllers for the body of the robot. Though the research direction of these robots is very different from the Domo Project, the design of the eye detection module and the Series Elastic Actuator arm are integrated into Domo's design.

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