Wednesday, August 17, 2011

V-REP Virtual Robot Experimentation Platform

For lots of people (myself included) there almost something magical about robots, and that's something that accompanies us since we were children. Unfortunately, its a fascination that is often relied to the imagination realm, as it isn't very common for anyone to have robots to tinker with around the house (though Lego Technics and similar "toys" have made it far more accessible than ever before).

But, even those "toys" are usually quite expensive. Wouldn't it be great if one could play around with high-quality robotic systems without spending a single cent? That's exactly what you can do with: V-REP (Virtual Robot Experimentation Platform).

As its name implies, the software provides an unlimited proving ground for you to try out any robotic contraption your mind can come up with. And as you can see in the following demo video, there really are no limits to what it can do:

And before you think this is only "virtual", check out this video where V-REP is interfaced to an Wiimote and webcam, allowing you to control a virtual robot with very real and physical movements.

So... what are you waiting for? I dare you to come up with a better Mars rover design than the one Nasa is currently planning on sending to the red planet. Who knows?... Maybe you'll might be able to teach them a trick or two... :)

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