Research

           making science happen

Musculoskeletal robot platform

a full scale humanoid robot research platform

Musculoskeletal Robotics

  • myoarm1
    Anthropomimetic robots sense, behave, interact, and feel like humans. By this definition, they require human-like physical hardware and actuation but also brain-like control and sensing. The most self-evident realization to meet those requirements would be a human-like musculoskeletal robot with a brain-like neural controller. In traditional approaches, the controller, by its internal functionality, finds appropriate actions on the basis of the history of sensor values, guided by the goals, intentions, objectives, learning schemes, and so forth.

Musc

  • Musc
    Musc is the only open-source modular musculoskeletal robotics toolkit. Musc shows comparable behavior to biological musculoskeletal systems. It has all the complex effects – pull only, tendon wrapping, hysteresis – that biological muscles have as well. Use it to simulate the effects of a change in muscle attachment or muscle strength. They are therefore ideally suited for a bio-plausible control pipeline in locomotor research. The bioinspired mechatronics are ideally suited as a basis to build prosthetics and exoskeletons based on this technology.

Cognitive Systems

  • Dialog3
    Current vision architecture focuses mainly on object recognition and object tracking. It is using Intel Movidius Neural Compute Sticks, which enable high performance at low cost, specifically does not require a GPU. The Audio processing module is designed to function in the noisy environment. In order to achieve this, the circular microphone array is used, which combined with the beamforming algorithms from ODAS and Gaussian Mixture Models guarantees stable speech recognition, speaker localization and diarization.


Musculoskeletal Robotics

  to make robots strong

Why musculoskeletal Robotics?

scalability in neural control

Compliant, musculoskeletal robotic systems offer several advantages, especially in situations where human and robot work in close proximity. A musculoskeletal design makes extensive use of viscous-elastic materials to emulate the muscles and tendons which enhance safety, dexterity and adaptivity in uncertain environments. It also allows reducing body weight and developmental cost, while at the same time increasing design flexibility.

lightweight

lightweight

 Robots that mimic the mechanical properties of the
human build strive toward both attributes simultaneously, as, by design, they possess built-in compliance and relatively natural. Musculoskeletal robots in particular offer lightweight, low-inertia end effectors because the main actuators, the skeletal muscles, can be kept at rest.

compliance

compliance

Muscles connect to the distal bone only via tendons, which have a negligible weight. In this way, two passive safety aspects, which minimize the head injury criterion, are intrinsic to the anthropomimetic musculoskeletal architecture: compliance & minimal moving mass.

Neural Control

Neural Control

Bioinspired approaches on the controller side are simulated biological neural networks, because the human brain and central nervous system are the most relevant reference for natural control of musculoskeletal limbs. Neural control is the most elegant, versatile, and energy-efficient way to use musculoskeletal systems.

PUBLICATIONS

what it takes to make a robot strong

RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS

making science happen

The team of over 100 students, doctoral candidates and graduates of the Technical University of Munich brings together experts from a wide variety of disciplines. Together with a network of scientists all over the world you have been working for years on the development of the humanoid robot. The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (neuroprosthetics), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (algorithms for controlling the robot), Oxford University (loading of artificial tendons during their growth) and of course TUM (robotics & real-time systems, product development methods) are permanent cooperation partners.

MUSC

the only open-source modular musculoskeletal robotics toolkit

Why you need to have MUSC

a robotics toolkit that fits its user needs

Bionic

Musc imitates the musculoskeletal system of the human body. With all its complexities, but also all its opportunities.

Modular

An arm? legs? 6 muscles? 9? just a test setup? Musc is flexible – build whatever morphology you want.

Open Source

Musc is BSD and CC-BY 4.0 licensed. Means: unrestricted modifications to your use-case.

ROS Controlled

The robotics research world speaks ROS, so do we. But if you really want Matlab, we do that as well. 

For Research

Musc is geared at researchers, not roboticists. Biologists, sports, medicine, neuroscientists: focus on research, not handling robots.

User Centred

We develop Musc with lead-users applying user-centric product development paradigms. To make sure, you want to work with it.

Areas of Application

what to use musc for?

wrestle

Medical Research

Musc shows comparable behaviour to biological musculoskeletal systems: use it to simulate the effects of a change in muscle attachment or muscle strength – e.g. after a stroke. 

neuromuscle

Neuroscience

Musc has all the complex effects – pull only, tendon wrapping, hysteresis – that biological muscles have as well. They are therefore ideally suited for a bio-plausible control pipeline in locomotor research. 

muscarm_full

Exoskeleton & Prosthetics

The bioinspired mechatronics are ideally suited as a basis to build prosthetics and exoskeletons based on this technology.

Origins of Musc

based on years of research

Musc is in a long genealogy that started with the FP7 project ECCEROBOT.


Musc uses the experience from the original Roboy and it’s thousands of hours at fairs to understand what it takes to make a system robust.

The open source Myorobotics FP7 project is at the basis of the mechatronics of Musc. The muscles, the electronics and simulation models are based on these results.

open source

keeping it open – it’s the only way for research

The development of Roboy (mechanic and software) is conducted open source. This means that all expertise, ideas, and inventions do not belong to one specific entity, and everyone will have the chance to advance Roboy’s technology.
All of the code and CAD files are freely available on GitHub under a very permissive license (BSD 3.0 and CC-BY 4.0).
The parts required to build Roboy are kept in our sponsored aligni.com instance at roboy.open-aligni.com.
The documentation of the work of the current individual teams is available on our team development space.
As the project is under heavy development, if you would like to have access, learn how to build your own, or contribute please contact gro.y1544872922obor@1544872922maet1544872922.

Be Musc?

Think Musc could be valuable for your research? Get in contact with us, we’re happy to help building or build for you!

Cognitive System

a real human robot interface

The Roboy Dialog System

to say and what to say, that is the question!

The Roboy Dialog System (RDS) is a sophisticated software module representing the cognitive capabilities of the humanoid anthropomimetic robot Roboy. The goal of the project is to implement dialog routines and knowledge extraction for a realistic human-like conversation flow which is achieved by utilizing various behaviour models represented by the State Machine (RDSM) finite automaton defined via a certain Roboy Personality description (file). Within the particular conversation flow stages, the behavioral variability is obtained by extending and redefining the common RDSM State to produce a certain social interaction. The RDMS State both as actor and as reactor regarding the internally formulated output and externally acquired input.

realistic human-like conversation flow

realistic human-like conversation flow

by implementing dialog routines and knowledge extraction

IO as a cloud service

IO as a cloud service

Integration as a chatbot

Integration as a chatbot

The current implementation covers the Telegram messenger

The architecture of the Roboy Dialog allows for flexible configuration and achieving the dialog flow tight to the user needs. Inherently it is designed for the open-domain conversation, which allows to handle unpredicted user inputs. The system can be deployed in multiple scenarios, including

FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTION

by using custom speech synthesis and speech recognition modules

IO AS A CLOUD SERVICE

UDP or MQTT message protocols for instance

INTEGRATION AS A CHATBOT

The current implementation covers the Telegram messenger

In addition, Roboy Dialog System is capable of sending facial expression commands or Roboy movement action calls.

For the general knowledge information access, the interface to the DBpedia is implemented, as well to the internal graph-based memory, that allows to persistently store information across dialog sessions.

Roboy’s Research Review

robotics papers explained in 2 minutes

We ❤️ Robotics

that’s why we do the research reviews

Note: We are reviewing these papers, and we were not part of the research or the team which authored this paper.