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Iran Demonstrates New Humanoid Robot Surena Iii

By IEEE Spectrum

November 20, 2015

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Researchers at Iran's University of Tehran on Monday unveiled Surena III, their latest-generation humanoid robot, which can walk, mimic a person's arm gestures, and stand on one foot while bending backwards.

Surena III will be used as a platform for investigating bipedal locomotion, human-robot interaction, and other robotic challenges, according to University of Tehran professor Aghil Yousefi-Koma. He thinks one of Surena III's most useful potential applications could be in disaster conditions.

The 1.9-meter-tall, 216-pound robot features light-emitting diode eyes, a Kinect-based three-dimensional vision module, and 31 servomotors powering its joints, with human operators supervising its functions with software based on the Robot Operating System (ROS). Surena III's vision system enables the robot to detect faces and objects and track a person's motions, and its speech system can recognize certain predefined sentences in Persian.

Yousefi-Koma says the ROS addition "enables the robot to simultaneously communicate with the environment, manage its behaviors, monitor its sensors, and detect unwanted faults in the system."

The third-generation machine can walk at a pace nearly 10 times that of its original iteration, at 0.2 meters/second. Other advancements Yousefi-Koma cites include Surena III's ramp- and stair-climbing ability, as well as its object-grasping proficiency and ability to adapt to uneven terrain.

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