Cog was a humanoid robot designed by Rodney Brooks's group at MIT as a platform to study robot cognition. It could track faces, grasp objects, and, perhaps most famously, play with a Slinky.
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Did You Know?
The name "Cog" is a play on the term "cognition" and a mechanical cog.
Cog is now retired, residing inside a glass box at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Mass.
Rodney Brooks has said the main inspiration for building Cog was HAL from the movie "2001."
- Able to recognize objects and reach for a visual target. Equipped with series elastic actuators for safer operation around people.
- 172 cm | 67.7 in (including pedestal)
- N/A cm | N/A in
- 200 cm | 78.7 in
- N/A kg | N/A lb
- N/A km/h | N/A mph
- Each eye with two cameras (one wide and one narrow field of view), three-axis inertial system, load cells in each joint, optical encoders, array of tactile sensors, two microphones. Various limit switches, pressure sensors, and thermal sensors (to gather proprioceptive data).
- Series elastic actuators for the arms and DC gearmotors in the chest.
- External power supply
- DEGREES OF FREEDOM (DOF)
- 22 (Arms: 6 DoF x 2; Torso: 3 DoF; Neck: 4 DoF; Eyes: 3 DoF)
Development of Cog started in 1993. The robot's first incarnation was as a 14-DOF upper torso with one arm and a rudimentary visual system. The robot was later upgraded to include two arms, a head, and more sensors. Many graduate students worked on the robot, including Brian Scassellati (now a Yale professor), Aaron Edsinger (founder of Meka Robotics), and Cynthia Breazeal (now an MIT professor). There were no blueprints or schematics. "The robot is just hack on a kludge to a 'temporary solution,' held together with Velcro, 24AWG wire, and solder," the researchers wrote on their website, only half jokingly. Cog was one of the first humanoid robots to use series elastic actuators: The motors on the arms were connected to the joints in series with a torsional spring, which protected the gearbox and provided compliance and more safety for people interacting with the arms.