MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2012

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 79 of 115

COVER STORY to use them for real world applications? And now, the technologies developed at RoMeLa are derived from making a soccer playing robot, which today is saving people's lives. Hong has always had a passion for robotics. "When I saw the movie 'Star Wars' for the first time my head was spinning with all the cool space ships and robots. In the car ride back home, I decided to become a robot scientist and I am here today. Even now, if you look at my robots, you can see a glimpse of R2D2 and C3P0 in them," said Hong. The field of robotics can be difficult to understand, but the final results are vital, and well worth the time and effort. A robot is a complex system covering everything from hardcore mechanical sciences like design and kinematics, to the more computer science side of artificial intelligence, and everything in between – including dynamics, control, power and mechatronics. Students at RoMeLa learn all these subjects to create such complex systems. Each brings an area of expertise to the table, allowing them to move forward with each individual project and together create robots. Hong's team works on numerous projects. They can be fun, but some projects do pose challenges, according to the team. "SAFFiR needs to be able to withstand high heat and flames, as it is built to fight fires. THALeR is a 10-meter- tall walking robot, and testing it is a big challenge. Most RoboCup robot projects now are more of an artificial intelligence challenge than a mechanical design; since now that we have a very stable platform called DARwIn-OP. But most tall humanoid robots like CHARLI is still difficult to design and control — walking with two feet is an extremely difficult task but we take it for granted since we walk with two feet." SAFFiR SAFFiR's compliant linear actuators 78 MacDirectory

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