Rollin’ Justin

Rollin’ Justin

Rollin’ Justin – or just simply Justin – is a wireless robot developed by DLR, the German Aerospace Center, at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. Justin was invented not to be used on Earth, but to be put on a satellite to repair other satellites.

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The main goal in creating new generation of space robots is to combine light in weight and having multiple senses. Furthermore, it should be easy to control from the Earth. And that’s exactly how Justin, autonomous and programmable humanoid robot, works!

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That two armed humanoid robot can be differentiated depending on its intended purpose: some versions of Justin may not have wheels, or have legs instead of wheels as TORO. On the other hand, there is an amount of elements that the robot is always equipped with: a head, two hands, two high-definition cameras and a torso. What strongly distinguishes Justin from a great amount of humanoid robots, is the fact it is controllable through telepresence. And what does that type of technology that mean for constructors, programmers and users? Telepresence enables us to feel as if we were present in a location different than our real location. In space Justin can be controlled from the Earth by a man wearing an exoskeleton. It is a combination of an arm and a glove that has force feedback. It engage our sense of touch through forces, vibrations and motions to the user. On the other hand, if he had to be used in a household environment, we all would be able to simply control it via an iPad.

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How does he look like? As all humanoid robots, Justin looks a bit like a human being. His four-finger hands provide human-like maneuvers, so he can gently grab and move objects. He can also interact with his environment and avoid collisions, and catch flying objects with success rate that is… 80%! Justin’s “eyes”, two high-definition cameras, give a sense of depth and are also equipped with object-recognition software. Instead of legs, Justin the robot has a special mobile platform. Thanks for that he is mobile and able to travel long distances.

But as making robots is responsibility and hard work, it can also be a bit of fun and entertainment. Justin can make you tea or coffee and hold a paper cup avoiding splashing the liquid all over its hands. He can also do a dance from Pulp Fiction.

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