Pioneering the Next Generation of Robotics with the Biomimetic 'Melissa Robot'

The Human Gait will be Perfected Artificially Within 5 Years

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 24, 2015 -- The robots are coming. The "Melissa Robot" designed by Favis, INC is the first biomimetic, or biologically inspired robot to be released on the commercial market. Standing at 5'6" tall this anatomically accurate robot is designed to be programmed in a virtual environment using physics simulations and machine learning. The learned machine logic is then exported to the actual real world robot to be tested. The challenge for controlling a robot with this many muscle groups is the complexity of the programming. Using modern scalable computing clusters Melissa will be virtually trained to learn specific tasks such as walking, getting off of the ground, or sitting down and more. Once these tasks are perfected, more tasks or behaviors can be programmed. The virtual training expedites the learned behaviors so that they take less time than they would if the machine was learning in 'real time'. With enough processing power, minutes of machine training can be equivalent to hours or days in the real world. The learned tasks can be increased in difficulty virtually so the robot can learn to adapt to different environmental situtations. Things such as a slippery or angled ground can be prelearned virtually and the real robot will be able to adapt to similar situations in real time.

"The ingredients for these types of robots have been out there for a long time. Electroactive polymers, high performance computing, open architecture microcontrollers, low cost sensors and processors." said Steve Favis, CEO of Favis, INC. "It is just a matter of putting them together in a creative way. This type of robot will be the one that will perfect the human gait artificially within 5 years."

Melissa is powered by lithium polymer batteries and her muscles are controlled electronically using special electroactive polymers. The anatomy is nearly identical to an adult human with a hard skeleton and soft muscles that contract in a similar way.

"The technology is here and the long term benefits of beginning to research and manufacture these types of robotics are critically important." said Steve. "The implications of mastering control of this type of a machine are profound. From exploring inaccessible environments to cleaning up hazardous waste, the bipedal human like robot has tremendous benefits for humanity. The only type of robot that can move like us are robots that are designed like us. Melissa is that first step."

The Melissa robot is available for pre order at for researchers, hobbyists, robotics enthusiasts and developers.

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Maplesoft - Free Whitepaper: Developing a Robot Model using System-Level Design

Maplesoft - Free Whitepaper: Developing a Robot Model using System-Level Design

This paper uses NAO, the humanoid robot from Aldebaran Systems, to demonstrate how MapleSim can be used to develop a robot model, and how the model can be further analyzed using the symbolic computation engine within Maple.