Where was Agile Justin last year when we needed him to throw out the first pitch at a Philadelphia Phillies game? The PhillieBot was booed by Phillies fans after bouncing the ball to home plate. It would have been a different story had DLR’s latest robot been there.
Last summer DLR showed us Rollin’ Justin’s amazing ability to catch. Now they’ve created a robot that can toss the ball to Rollin’. Just as Rollin’ Justin was a great test platform for robotics technologies behind high-speed perception, catching strategy, dexterity and body control, Justin’s Agile twin presents DLR programmers with the challenge of effective ball tossing – something that PhillieBot failed miserably at.
As Hizook reports, DLR started with Rolling Justin and added “1.5 faster arms through different gear ratios; completely new wheel electronics and bus architecture, which allows a 500Hz control loop over all four wheels and steering [degrees of freedom] on the mobile platform; 1kHz control loop for the arms, torso and hand [degrees of freedom].”
Watch the ball toss in the video below. Obviously Agile Justin throws like a robot, kind of sidearm/underhand, not much like a major league pitcher. The coordination between arm, torso, and wheels gives new meaning to the term “pitching mechanics.”