ROBOT: H7 Runs On RT-Linux OS

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Fri Oct 26 2001 - 16:11:00 MDT

Humanoid robot runs on Linux power
LONDON--Japanese scientists are planning to demonstrate a walking,
Linux-operated, humanoid robot next month in Europe.

The two-legged H7 robot is around 54 inches tall and weighs 121 pounds. It has
36 joints--or "degrees of freedom"--which H7's developers claim means it has
full body motion. An onboard computer, built around two 750MHz Pentium III
processors, runs the RT-Linux operating system.
The appearance--at the Embedded Linux Expo from Nov. 26 to 29 in Milan,
Italy--will be the H7 robot's first visit to Europe. Researchers at the JSK
Laboratory in Japan created the robot and hope it will become a useful
platform for robotic developments--especially in the field of artificial

"Human-shaped robots are well suited for operating within environments
designed for real humans," said Satoshi Kagami, a senior research scientist at
the Digital Human Laboratory of Tokyo's National Institute of Advanced Science
and Technology. Kagami added that H7 would "provide an experimental research
platform for full-body integrated sensing and control."

Video footage of H7 shows it is capable of walking unaided, both in a straight
line and in a crab-like shuffle. The robot contains batteries and can
communicate to a network via a wireless Ethernet connection.

The team behind the H7 claims that the robot is fully self-contained and can
be operated without external cables. On the video footage released by JSK
Laboratories, H7 is connected to an external device--possibly a power
source--which one researcher pushes around on a trolley after H7.

H7 is already equipped with collision-checking technology that allows it to
tell when it has walked into an obstacle. The scientists at JSK Laboratories
are already working on 3D vision functionality that could allow H7 to avoid
collisions altogether.

The RT-Linux OS is designed for robotic applications, as well as data
acquisition and systems control functions. Fujitsu recently launched its own
RT-Linux robot, called Hoap-1. Fujitsu has released details of the internal
architecture of Hoap-1, to help researchers and enthusiasts to design powerful
applications for the robot.

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Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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