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Humanoid Service Robot HERMES - Research

HERMES - Research


  • developing key technologies
  • for future robotic systems that service humans
  • in extended working / living environments that
    • are populated by humans
    • are made for humans
    • should not be modified in any way  for the benefit of the robot
  • intermediate goal:
    • intelligent and versatile service robot
    • for manipulation und transportation tasks
    • in uncontrolled and changing environments
  • ultimate goal:
    • ‘plug-and-play’ personal robot

Typical Shortcomings of Today's Robots

  • special solutions for specific problems
  • difficult to adapt to modified tasks and environments
  • locomotion and manipulation are not combined
  • special purpose sensors (e.g., sonar, laser, radar) instead of generic ones (e.g., vision, touch, hearing)
  • limited modes of human types of communication
  • no situated reference frame between robot and user
  • no safety concept
  • every robot has its own system architecture
  • inflexible software framework


  • integrating the key technologies into a single self-contained and autonomous testbed:
  • a humanoid robot
    • that resembles a human

    • - in height and shape and
      - sensory and motor skills
    • built from standard components
    • in a modular, flexible and extensible fashion
  • putting it into personal service of non-experts
  • testing it under real-world conditions

Improved characteristics of HERMES:

  • 25 similar drive modules with compatible mechanical and electrical interfaces
  • universal concept of modularity and flexibility
  • omnidirectional wheelbase
  • two arms with 6 DOF and a two-finger gripper each
  • bendable body
  • sensor head on a pan/tilt platform
  • stereo vision as main sensing modality, with two independent DOF for each camera (pan/tilt)
  • multimodal human-robot interface based on vision, touch and hearing (dialogues in natural language)
  • additional safety sensors
  • network of multiple C40 DSPs for information processing and robot control
  • standardized command interfaces (CAN bus) for all 25 drive modules