HKU Faculty of Engineering humanoid robot “Atlas” meets the media
17 Oct 2013
The Advanced Robotics Laboratory of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Hong Kong, is now home to one of the world’s most advanced humanoid robots. “Atlas”, which is one of only seven Atlas robots in the world and the only one in Asia, made its first public appearance in Hong Kong today (October 17) with the HKU Robotics Team. The Faculty of Engineering also took the opportunity to announce the progress on the HKU Advanced Robotics Initiative.
The six-foot-tall, 330-pound Atlas is made of graded aluminum and titanium and costs 15 million HK dollars. It is capable of a variety of natural movements, including dynamic walking, calisthenics and user-programmed behavior.
Professor Wyatt Newman, project leader of the HKU Robotics Team and Hung Hing Ying Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Science and Technology, stated that the robotics research spans a variety of problems involving vision, perception, artificial intelligence, control, planning, scheduling, communications, fast computation, and so on. Thus, it requires multidisciplinary research and collaboration. The team is developing and refining the robot’s software brains and nerves which will guide the suite of sensors, actuators, joints and limbs that make up its actions.
Professor Norman Tien, HKU Dean of Engineering, remarked: “Since its establishment in April, the Advanced Robotics Laboratory has attracted top researchers from the US, Japan and UK to join hands with the project team in developing advanced and sophisticated software. Robotics technologies have been drawing increasing attention and demand from research agencies, the industrial and manufacturing sectors.”
“The Faculty introduced its “Advanced Robotics Initiative” as a long-term research programme aiming to foster leading-edge technology development in HKU as well as to enter the world stage of innovation in the area of robotics. This serves a good example of creating high-impact multidisciplinary areas of excellence in targeted themes for the needs of the marketplace in the increasingly connected world,” added Professor Tien.
The Advanced Robotics Laboratory is now working on the development of robotics systems for operation in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments with the usage of available human tools, ranging from hand tools to vehicles. Development of robotic systems with the ability to operate in human-engineered environments will allow for their rapid adoption in hazardous environments for humans such as nuclear reactors, oil rigs, mines, and for disaster relief, with minimal infrastructure modification.
The Faculty of Engineering Robotics Team was among world’s top nine in the international Virtual Robotics Challenge held in June and will proceed to compete with top universities and research organisations including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lockheed Martin, CalTech/JPL from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Carnegie Mellon University in a Robotics Challenge in December this year.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Communications and Public Affairs Office Ms Trinni Choy, HKU (Tel: 2859 2606 / Email: email@example.com ) or Ms Rhea Leung, Communications and Public Affairs Office, HKU (Tel: 2857 8555 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Faculty of Engineering Ms Kelly Lam, (Tel: 2859 2435 / Email: email@example.com ).
The Advanced Robotics Laboratory of the Faculty of Engineering, HKU, displays the world’s most advanced humanoid robots “Atlas”.
According to Professor Norman Tien, HKU Dean of Engineering, Robotics has been identified as one of the strategic research themes of the Faculty of Engineering.