Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Teaching robots to dance.. Hell Yes.

The phrase "pathteacher" is for the engineers who teach robots how to dance, err.. to perform repeated automated processes with a high degree of accuracy and precision.  Kinda like how these QRIO robots from Sony were taught to dance for the Beck video for "Hell Yes".
I've dabbled in pathteaching with paint robots.  More than dabbled, kind of wallered around in it, but usually only when I had to, to get a robot to quit doing dumb stuff like hitting cars it was painting or running into other robots or missing a spot it was supposed to paint or something like that.  Mostly just touched up paths that were already there. But then every path is pretty much a touched up version of another path anyway...
Its cool how it all works.  You use a teach pendant to slew the robot to a certain position by jogging any of of 7 axis servomotors, then record the node to the path, move it to the next spot you want the robot to pass over, then record the node.  Do that a few hundred times, recording each node and pretty soon the robot has an entire path in its brain.  When you play the path, the 7 robot servomotors work together to move the robot through each of the nodes you taught in a steady smooth continuous manner, almost like its dancing.  Hell Yes.

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