Walkman - Anthropomorphic Robot


The Walkman European project decided to accelerate their work so that they could participate in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). The DRC required operating the robot to complete a series of tasks over a low quality, low bandwidth, high latency connection in order to promote autonomous and semi-autonomous developments.

Traveler Hauptman started participating as an advisor, helping to guide the hardware development and jumping in, in a more hands on manner when elements of the hardware development were blocked. Later Traveler took leadership of the software development effort.


On the hardware side Traveler contributed at all levels, jumping in as needed. Reviewing designs, setting up a collaboration and project management server, creating and communication system level information contributed to group management. Designing a motor heatsink and writing commutation sensor calibration code, contributed to the hardware.

For the software effort there were about 30 participants but the core developers were about 15 people from 3 different groups at 2 locations. Traveler's main work here was organizing and running meetings, smoothing out interpersonal conflicts, and trying to keep everyone working towards the same goals. Traveler also researched candidate technologies for various aspects of the system and presented shortlists to the group for selection.

While Traveler's main role was as a manager, he did contributed to a couple technical aspects. Traveler was responsible for the use of SCTP (rather than TCP or UDP) which led to more robust communications for the robot. Traveler also was able to identify and fix a bug that was causing random problems that no one else on the team could figure out.

This entry relates to Traveler Hauptman while he worked at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia