Being afraid of dogs now takes on new meaning after scientists in Florida were able to develop Astro, a quadruped robot with a 3D printed head that looks like a Doberman pinscher.
Scientists from Flordia Atlantic University’s Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Lab created Astro, the four-legged seeing and hearing robodog using artificial intelligence and deep learning. It’s one of only a handful of quadruped robots in the world. The scientists said Astro is unique because its the only one that has a 3D printed head that resembles a dog.
Astro learns from a neural network
Unlike other robots that operate based on preprogrammed robotic automation, Astro learns based on inputs into a deep neural network that is a simulation of the brain. Astro, as a result, is able to learn from experiences so it can perform tasks that researchers said will benefit humanity. The robodog has built-in sensors, radar imaging, cameras, and a directional microphone. It weighs in at 100 pounds and can respond to commands including “sit,” “stand” and “lie down.”
Astro’s key job will be to assist police, military
Researchers said the key role for Astro is to detect guns, explosives, and gun residue to help police, military and security professionals. The robot can also be programmed to act as a service dog and provide medical diagnostic monitoring. The Flordia Atlantic University team is also training Astro to act as a first responder for search and rescue after natural disasters such as hurricanes.
“Our Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics laboratory team was sought out by Drone Data’s Astro Robotics group because of their extensive expertise in cognitive neuroscience, which includes behavioral, neurophysiological and embedded computational approaches to studying the brain,” said Ata Sarajedini, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science in a press release announcing the robodog. “Astro is inspired by the human brain and he has come to life through machine learning and artificial intelligence, which is proving to be an invaluable resource in helping to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.”