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Humanoid Robot Myon

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Cologne-based industrial design studio Frackenpohl Poulheim designed character and skin of the humanoid robot “Myon”, which was created by the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin within the framework of the European research project ALEAR. Myon represents the M-Series, which consists of five similar robots that are based on a novel modular construction principle. Third party in creating the external appearance of “Myon” is Bayer MaterialScience.
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  • Introducing the humanoid robot „Myon“

  • Cologne, June 7th 2010Cologne-based industrial design studio Frackenpohl Poulheim designed the humanoid robot “Myon”, which was created by the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin within the framework of the European research project ALEAR. Myon represents the M-Series, which consists of five similar robots that are based on a novel and fascinating modular construction principle. Third party in creating the external appearance of “Myon” is Bayer MaterialScience.
     
    At a very early stage within the development process of the robot, Frackenpohl Poulheim and the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory started with their close cooperation. The result of the first phase of workshops was to define the nature and character of “Myon” together with the scientists. Thereafter, the appropriate proportion for the stature needed to be designed and aligned with the construction team. “This step has an enormous impact on the impressions, that a robot gives to its beholder”, says André Poulheim, who agreed with Thorsten Frackenpohl to work on the project even without compensation. “Robots easily appear menacing, if for instance shoulders are designed too massive. Myon was supposed to look friendly. Analogue to its actual body height that equates the size of an eight year old child, it shall not stand for danger”, says Poulheim. All project partners conformed that no copy of a human being should be created, but a product combining a biological human format with a technical appearance.
     
    Besides its creative-symbolic functions, the housing of the robot has to meet technical applicatory functions as well. If “Myon” tumbles, his skin protects the sensitive endoskeleton. Similarly, the unproblematic handling and transport of the robot becomes possible only after mounting the external, thermoformed shells. Bayer MaterialScience succeeded in developing a special material for this application which at the same time meets design requirements and technical specifications. A transparent top layer from Makrolon provides a favoured depth effect while fibre-glass reinforced polycarbonate as the base layer gives the necessary strength.
     
    Launching the newly developed robot “Myon”, the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory introduces the worldwide first humanoid robot whose body parts can be demounted and mounted during operation mode. During this process, all body parts keep their functions as they are fully autonomous concerning three aspects: energy supply, processing power and neural network are arranged locally on the robot.
     
    „Myon“ is a system with an outstanding high complexity. Nevertheless, its behavior does not collapse when damage occurs. Cutting a cable or removing an electronic part therefore won´t lead to malfunction of the robot. The body parts have multiple cross-links and work together cooperatively.
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