Robotics X, a research division of Chinese tech giant Tencent, announced on September 9 the latest progress of its wheel-legged robot named Ollie, showing technologies such as “tactile interaction” and exclusive “two-wheel walking.” These new updates further enrich the robot’s “senses” and improve its motion control abilities.
Ollie represents another innovative exploration by Tencent‘s Robotics X Lab, following its robot dogs, Jamoca and Max. It integrates a number of advanced motion control technologies and makes key breakthroughs in motion planning, balance and stability, human-robot interaction and other fields.
The new tactile sensor in this upgrade gives Ollie the ability to “sense contact.” It can respond to touch and complete difficult tasks such as balancing spherical objects with its head. At the same time, by upgrading motion control and motion generation algorithms, Ollie can continuously and stably complete a two-wheeled walking action with asynchronous frequency, and further improve its overall motion stability and flexibility.
With the new tactile sensor, Ollie can use its “skin” to feel the external contact information, including perception and recognition of touch mode, touch force, touch position and touch tracking, and it can respond in different ways.
As for the two-wheeled walking action, compared with the “stepping on one stop” action displayed last year, Ollie now has the ability to step and move at the same time. The move also lasts longer and is smoother and more stable.
Wheel-legged robots have been the frontier field for robot research in recent years. Ollie has both wheeled structure and leg abilities. The wheeled structure makes it move quickly with high efficiency, while the legs enable Ollie to adapt to uneven ground and complete jumping steps. Now, with touch sensing and “two-wheel walking” abilities, Ollie has become more versatile.
In the future, Ollie will continue to serve as an experimental platform for cutting-edge technological exploration by Tencent Robotics X Lab, undertaking research tasks in many fields, such as robot ontology design, system integration, extensive perception and control planning algorithms. The lab aims to complete the accumulation of full-stack technical capabilities.