Expert NGO "Android Technology" talked about the robot Fedor and other ambitious projects

Modern robotics is developing at such a rapid pace that soon a person with the help of robots will be able to master space and eliminate thousands of emergency situations in seconds. For such operations, special anthropomorphic robotic complexes are developed.

To understand the specifics of the development of such robots, their functional capabilities and areas of implementation, we talked with the technical director of the Android Technological Scientific and Production Association and the Robotics Expo speaker Evgeny Dudorov.

Interviewer - Yanina Volovik (Y.V.)

Respondent - Yevgeny Dudorov (E.D.)

YV: How much is the industry of android technology developed in Russia?

ED: Currently, the industry of android technology in Russia has not yet been formed. For its appearance, it is necessary to increase the number of developers and tasks that need to be solved with the help of such devices. No less important is the availability of samples of anthropomorphic technology. From such examples - our robotic systems like FEDOR.

Now this industry is quite open, there are many areas for work. If you look at the practice of other countries, then in the world about 200 companies are developing in the field of android technology. Among the most active states are the USA, Japan, South Korea.

YV: Tell us about the FEDOR robot. What can he do and where can his skills be useful?

ED: Let's start with another question: why did he appear? The FEDOR robot is the result of a project commissioned by the Advanced Research Foundation. The goal of the project is to develop a system for the combined management of an anthropomorphic RTK during rescue operations.

The project consisted of two stages. At the first stage, several anthropomorphic technology platforms were developed. Each of them is individual and unique. They are intended to work out promising technologies for creating a demonstrator in a short period of time. At the second stage, the result of the demonstrator was FEDOR.

All robot skills depend on the skills of operators and programmers. It is not enough to create iron - it is necessary to breathe life into it. In order for the robot itself to be able to do something, a certain set of algorithms is required. The combination of private algorithms in the future will serve as the basis for artificial intelligence. Suppose that at the moment AI does not exist and there are no clear ideas when it will appear, yet such algorithms allow you to create certain functional capabilities of robots.

What can they be? For example, the functions of working with objects or tools. The initial task of FEDOR is to assist in emergency response. It is important that he could use the tools used by rescuers: these are scissors, burners, jacks, car control tools and others.

We worked out all these actions, despite the fact that different algorithms are responsible for them. The value of the robotic complex will manifest itself at the moment when a certain set of solutions is obtained from all algorithms. It will allow not only a separate element of the robot’s work, but also a full-fledged operation.

YV: FEDOR is better than its ATLAS counterpart, created under the patronage of the US agency DARPA?

ED: From the point of view of a set of material and technical base, it is no worse. If we talk about the hardware, the FEDOR robot can be even better. If we talk about software - ATLAS is more advanced, since many more teams are working on its programming and updates.

The main difference between ATLAS and FEDOR is the functionality. The FEDOR robot is currently in a single copy, and only our team has access to it. ATLAS is available in quantities of more than 10 pieces. Moreover, a huge number of universities and developers work with him.

YV: In 2021, FEDOR is planned to be launched into space . Tell us how the robot is preparing for the first flight.

ED: Specifically, this sample will not be launched into space. It is created only for terrestrial conditions. Now we are preparing a robot in the image of FEDOR. For this, there is already a technical task and several variants of a general form. We are also working on the nodes that will be applied.

Flight into space will be preceded by a series of experiments. We plan to create at least 3-4 testing devices, and only the best will be sent to space. To do this, we conduct a series of experiments on driving devices in vacuum under the influence of various temperature loads: from -150 to +100 degrees Celsius.

YV: What projects are you working on now, besides FEDOR?

ED: We have a large number of projects. Among those related to space is a project to develop modules for use in space orbit.

There are several projects to develop medical technology. In particular, this exoskeleton device for the rehabilitation of patients. One of them has already passed clinical trials. Now we are at the stage of obtaining a license for its production.

We are also working in the direction of education. These are robotic complexes for higher educational institutions, which have become the basic platform for students, graduate students and scientists. Novice specialists study the systems of dynamic equilibrium and technical vision, erect position and manipulations with objects.

YV: Your project “Robotics for science and education” implies equipping universities with robotic laboratories. Do Russian universities agree to cooperate with you?

ED: At the moment we are in contact with hundreds of universities. Of these, we work closely with 15. In fact, all federal universities are our partners. Among them are the Baltic Federal University, the Southern Federal University, the North Caucasus Federal University, Samara State Aviation University. These are the institutions of higher education in which our joint laboratories are implemented. They have either an anthropomorphic complex as a whole, or a part of it.

YV: You develop the concept of deserted technologies. Tell us more about it.

ED: Most of the work can be performed using robotic devices. Most often they are applicable where it is difficult for a person to be.

If we talk about space robotics, the robot is needed in order to be able to be placed on the space station and to perform certain repairs or tasks for research as directed by the operator.

If we talk about dangerous situations, then, in order not to endanger the lives of EMERCOM specialists, you can use robotic complexes of anthropomorphic or pseudoanthropomorphic types.

At the scene of an emergency, controlling the robot from a safe zone, you can detect the survivors and help them. For example, through the eye of a robot, a doctor can see the trauma of a person and tell the robot what to do to save the victim. At the moment, not everything is feasible, but in the next 5–10 years robots will be able to do it.

There are a number of dangerous professions, such as the welder, for example. He has to perform welding work in enclosed spaces. In such cases, you can use a robotic complex, which will be controlled by the operator from a safe place.

YV: Will modern robots be able to completely replace people in production, during maintenance, and in other industries?

ED: Modern robots will not be able to replace anyone completely. Technology is changing, and in the near future there will be a number of professional robotic devices. Such robots will be able to partially replace people in a number of areas of activity. For example, unmanned vehicles are now emerging. In this regard, the profession of a taxi driver or driver will not be needed.

Also at risk are professions of cooks, janitors, welders and many others. In general, from the existing single directory of professions, about 70% will gradually disappear and be replaced by robots.

Most of all there will be programmers and operators for controlling robots. Also begin to appear programmers neural networks. It is necessary that the devices could be developed and self-taught.

YV: You will be the speaker of the Robotics Expo conference. What will you tell and who will be interested in?

ED: At the conference I will talk about service robotics, its current state and development prospects. I will focus on anthropomorphic robotic complexes and medical complexes.


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