Deliverable 7.1

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Revision as of 15:07, 23 May 2007 by Pasa (talk | contribs) (Foreword)
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The iCub is the humanoid baby-robot designed by the RobotCub consortium. The iCub will be a full humanoid robot sized as a three year-old child. The total height is estimated to be around 105cm. It will have 53 degrees of freedom (dof), including articulated hands to be used for manipulation and gesturing and a weight of roughly 20 kg.

Our goal is to produce an integrated design, of an open platform, apt to support various behaviours, and of the most general use possible. Complementary to this requirement, it has to be noted that the RobotCub project is very much about manipulation, and for this reason the robot platform will incorporate this additional requirement by providing sophisticated hands, a flexible oculomotor system, and a reasonable bi-manual workspace. Finally, on top of this, we need to support, global body movements such as crawling, sitting, etc.

A study is being conducted for determining if and how many degrees of freedom are minimally required to produce/generate plausible facial expressions. Facial expression, although not a basic feature of the iCub will be integrated as an optional hardware plug-in.

The robot should be able to crawl and sit (to free the hands from supporting the body) and autonomously move from crawling to sitting and vice-versa.

In this deliverable the specifications of the hardware, electronics platform of the iCub are reported. iCub and relative subgroups performances and results obtained are reported and continuosly upgraded based on the debugging and tests. It has been decided more recently that the documentation of the robot will be hosted in the main RobotCub CVS server which is available for browsing by clicking here.

Pointers to relevant documentation as well as assembly or tuning procedure are also reported. For details on the software architecture please see the deliverable item 8.3.

NOTE: This is a running document which is updated regularly as the design of the platform progresses.

The iCub specifications

The Deliverable item 8.1 contains the initial specifications and design issues we considered during the development of iCub:

Deliverable 8.1

Specifications of the electronics (preliminary, before realization): click here to download the pdf

See additional details below

New documentation of the electronics including wiring diagrams is being created an will be available on the iCubPlatform CVS module.

Platform realization status

Actually several copies of the iCub are being realized and tested over Europe. A short overview of the present status of each platform is briefly reported.

  • iCub main site, LIRA-Lab and Telerobot, Genoa (IT):
    • the upper body is being tested-assembled and debugged;
    • the head of the iCub was realized and optimized and it is has been replicated in six copies (four of them are in Genoa);
    • the lower body has been upgraded to version 2 and is being built, it will be completed before the summer of 2007.
  • Salfor University (UK):
    • a first version of the lower body is ready and currently under test.
  • IST, Lisbon:
    • several versions of the head were realized including facial features. A new version of the facial features has been completed with controlling electronics.
    • construction of the arms has started.
  • EPFL, Switzerland:
    • another copy of the head is completed and under test, the arms are planned and under construction.
  • SSSA, Pontedera (IT):
    • an indipendent version of hand is being tested in parallel to the one already integrated in the LIRA-Lab+Telerobot design.

Platform realization preliminary results and data

As a first indication a benchmark between the intially estimated body mass distribution and the actual body mass obtained from the final CAD is reported in the following table.

This will soon be updated with prototype data as soon as integration is done.


More details on the results obtained from the platform realization can be found in:


Details of the head: click here to download the pdf

Tests have been performed, some results (VERY preliminary):

HAND (SSSA version)

A document with the specifications and details of the SSSA hand design: click here to download the pdf

Realization and assembly issues

The documentation of the assembly and wiring of the robot has been moved completely on the CVS module iCubPlatform on the RobotCub CVS server (see above).

The CAD drawings repository

CAD files are in the ProEngineering Wildfire 2 standard. They will be made available on CVS. Please discard any temporary version that you might have received. The up-to-date material is available from the RobotCub CVS server. Please see above. Also, check instructions at [[]].

  • Disclaimer: the robot is still under serious debugging. Be aware of this when reading and using these files. Please send bug reports to giorgio.metta _at_

Files are available in three types of documents:

  • 3D CAD files in the ProEngineering Wildfire 2 format, these are useful for debugging and for understanding of the robot structure
  • 2D dxf drawings, these files are typically used by manufacturers (machine shops) to build mechanical parts
  • BOM, this consists typically of a list of parts, sometimes divided between commercial parts (off-the-shelf) and machined parts (that require manifacturing)

The electronics CAD files (e.g. Orcad, Gerber) are also available from the RobotCub CVS together with the relative bill of materials. What is available:

  • Head CAD, BOM and 2D drawings: final
  • Upperbody: final, missing left hand
  • General integration: final
  • Lowerbody CAD+2D: final, missing foot and calf
  • Electronics: DC and BL control cards, missing pc104 interface card and force/torque sensor interface

The additional documents repository

Certain files cannot be archived as CAD files and require a separate repository (e.g. large binary files). The instructions to get will appear here.

Bill of materials

A database with the list of parts and details on each of them will be made available. This is in part already available from the CVS repository.


Documents that don't fall in any of the previous categories.