Robot Skins

Eowyn

PR2 development is proceeding on many fronts at once. Last month, the hardware and software were robust enough to pass Milestone 1 (robust autonomous navigation) and now we are working toward Milestone 2, which will require arms to complete. Milestone 2 will involve even longer-distance navigation than before. The robot will have to recharge itself (plug itself in) to meet these distance goals and will also face new obstacles like closed doors. We now have six arms in house, which will enable us to test our new objectives and continue to improve the hardware design.

Our PR2 Alpha prototypes have come a long way over the past several months. The data we've gathered from the milestones and stress tests have enabled us to improve on nearly every aspect of the design. Now that the PR2 design is converging on its final form, we've been able to shift our focus towards the details of the industrial design. 

Eowyn has been transformed into our "ID prototype," making it our most complete robot yet. In the picture, it was going through a fit test with an initial version of its skins. "Skin" is, of course, a metaphor: Eowyn's skins are molded plastic parts that serve to cover exposed gears for safety and exposed electronics to avoid foreign objects falling in and causing problems. In the coming weeks we will improve upon the design of the skins and even play with its paint job.