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Russian android robot Fedor to acquire self-learning abilities

December 09, 2016, 16:43 UTC+3 MAGNITOGORSK

The robot has been developed for Russia’s Emergencies Ministry

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© Donat Sorokin/TASS

MAGNITOGORSK, December 9. /TASS/. The Russian android robot called Fedor can do the splits and screw in a light bulb, CEO of Android Technics Research and Production Association Alexander Permyakov told TASS on Friday.

Android Technics is the developer of the robot Fedor.

The chief executive confirmed that the robot could do the splits to demonstrate its technical capabilities. Moreover, it can stand on one leg, having vertically lifted the other. Our chassis allows doing this. However, as part of the tests, this technical possibility did our robot a service when it had to overcome an obstacle," the Android Technics CEO said.

The Russian robot also has mobile fingers, he said.

"The manipulator has been created but hundreds and, perhaps, thousands of programmers’ work hours are needed to sharpen fine motor skills," he said.

"We can also mention the robot’s ability to screw in a light bulb as an example of our own scientific and technical potential, which we have developed beyond the requirements of the Rescuer project," he added.

Besides, the robot’s fine motor skills allow Fedor to insert the key in the lock, open the door of an apartment, switch on the light and drive a car.

The robot Fedor has been developed by Android Technics and the Advanced Research Fund under a technical assignment from Russia’s Emergencies’ Ministry. Originally, the robot was known under the notional name of Avatar but it has recently received is own name FEDOR, which stands for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research.

Apart from the Rescuer project in the interests of the Emergencies Ministry, the robot will be able to perform other assignments. Thus, the android is set to become the sole passenger of Russia’s new spacecraft Federatsiya in 2021 during the spaceship’s first flight.

The Russian robot will be technically simplified before it is serially produced, the chief executive said.

"The robot will be serially produced in a long-term perspective even in very large numbers but today what is required is to simplify the design and increase the robot’s service life. That is, it will be produced in a simplified form in the short-term perspective," the Android Technics chief executive said.

The robot’s final prototype has been developed using the maximum of existing technical possibilities - it incorporates the most advanced devices and components, the CEO said.

The serial production of special-purpose androids can be organized in Magnitogorsk in the Urals where Android Technics is building its own production base for its needs on an area of 11,000 meters, he said.

Fedor is referred to the AR-700 series (for work in extreme conditions). The enterprise also produces AR-600 household robots. It takes for the enterprise’s specialists about 16 hours to assemble one Fedor and up to 2-3 hours to replace an item in the android, the chief executive said.

In a perspective, the robot Fedor developed for Russia’s Emergencies Ministry will acquire the abilities for self-learning, the Android Technics CEO said.

"The self-learning procedure is not incorporated in the model, which is now being demonstrated. In the future, it will necessarily appear because self-learning is a major direction of the development of autonomous robotics," he said.

Currently, Fedor can already act on its own initiative within narrow scenarios, he said.

"For example, it can build a 3D map of premises for local navigation, identify an object or an obstacle and perform an action as part of a prescribed scenario - to take up an instrument, carry out an operation with it, for example, to take up the key and open the lock in the door," Permyakov said.

Many of the assignments stipulated for the robot Fedor were taken from the service instructions of rescuers from the Emergencies Ministry, he said.

"The Rescuer project was planned as the demonstration of technologies, such as climbing the staircase, the possibility to insert the key in the lock, open the door, switch on the light, overcome construction debris and make use of a car and a fire extinguisher. These and other tasks are prescribed in the service instructions of Emergencies Ministry rescuers, which we used for guidance. Our robot has successfully fulfilled all the conditions of a technical assignment," the Android Technics chief executive said. 

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