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Published on Jan 14, 2011
At the Hannover Messe 2010 the humanoid robot Lola was presented to the public. Lightweight design, modern drive technology, a powerful sensor system, microelectronics and a dynamic walking control system enable stable biped locomotion. Two high-resolution cameras and an advanced image processing system give Lola the ability to navigate autonomously in an unknown environment. The robot has been de- veloped at the Institute of Applied Mechanics (AM) at the Technische Universität München. At the Hannover Messe 2010, Lola is equipped with a vision system developed by the Institute for Autonomous Systems Technology (TAS) at the University of the Federal Armed Forces. The combination of vision system, mechatron- ics and control system gives the robot a high degree of autonomy. Lola was designed as an improved version of the humanoid robot Johnnie which was also de- veloped at AM and presented to the public in 2001. Lola is 180 cm tall and weighs approxi- mately 60 kg. As with Johnnie, Lola's propor- tions are derived from human anatomy. For the robot's development, a wide range of new ideas and technologies was realized. Addi- tional actuated joints in toes, pelvis and arms are key to more stable, versatile and human- like walking. A hierarchical control system gives Lola the ability to walk in arbitrary direc- tions like e.g. walking sideways to pass narrow points. The robot visually perceives its environment through two high-resolution video cameras each with 5 megapixels. The incoming image is par- titioned into areas of dierent importance. The less interesting areas are only examined roughly while special attention is drawn to the crucial areas. That way, expensive calculations are only carried out in areas in which new informa- tion is needed. This new method of attention based object recognition allows for a detailed analysis of the observed objects while at the same time reducing computing time. At the Hannover Messe 2010, Lola navigates in an environment containing objects of every day use. The object layout can be varied by spectators and is therefore not known to the robot beforehand. In this scenario Lola will au- tonomously complete certain predened tasks.