Research News

Find out what we are thinking and doing

August 22, 2019 | by Elan Barenholtz, Ph.D.

Astro the Robot Dog

Astro is Famous! See Media Coverage Here!

Astro has been featured in Digital Trends, Daily Mail, Wired Italy, and many more publications linked below.

About Astro

Astro has the flexibility and stability of other quadruped robots but with a very important difference: he has a brain too! Astro has a 3D printed head and ‘skin’ that contain multiple sensors and high-powered GPU computers to perceive and learn about his environment using a computerized brain. This means that Astro doesn’t operate based on preprogrammed code. Instead, Astro is being trained using inputs to a deep neural network – a computerized simulation of a brain – so that he can learn from experience to perform human-like tasks, or on his case, “doggie-like” tasks, that benefit humanity.

Equipped with sensors, high-tech radar imaging, cameras and a directional microphone, this 100-pound super robot is still a “puppy-in-training.” Just like a regular dog, he responds to commands such as “sit,” “stand” and “lie down.” Eventually, he will be able to understand and respond to hand signals, detect different colors, comprehend many languages, coordinate his efforts with drones, distinguish human faces, and even recognize other dogs.

As an information scout, Astro’s key missions will include detecting guns, explosives and gun residue to assist police, the military, and security personnel. This robodog’s talents won’t just end there, he also can be programmed to assist as a service dog for the visually impaired or to provide medical diagnostic monitoring. The MPCR team also is training Astro to serve as a first responder for search and rescue missions such as hurricane reconnaissance as well as military maneuvers.

This project is a collaboration between DroneData AstroRobotics division and FAU’s MPCR laboratory. AstroRobotics has provided the GhostRobotics open source robotic Four Leg All-Terrain Edge Compute Platform for the FAU designed software. Martin Woodall, founder of DroneData and a visionary in the field of GPU accelerated servers, is sponsoring the robotic project at FAU.