On 23 November, the CHARMIE robot was put to work in the Engineering I bar at the University of Minho’s Azurém campus in Guimarães.
The CHARMIE robot is a project created by the Automation and Robotics Laboratory of the Industrial Electronics Department of the University of Minho’s School of Engineering, which provides services in the institution’s bar and promises to revolutionise domestic and hospital support.
CHARMIE is a mobile, autonomous robot that has a manipulator arm and columns and is capable of carrying out tasks and providing services in domestic and hospital environments and interacting with human beings. The robot can help the elderly or people with reduced mobility to carry out basic tasks.
As Fernando Ribeiro, a professor in EEUM’s Industrial Electronics Department, explained, the robot can hear and speak to people in English and can carry objects and perform tasks such as picking up objects from the floor, making breakfast and watering a plant. At the moment, the project is in the task programming phase.
Tiago Ribeiro, a student at the University of Minho, told Mais Guimarães that the idea began with the work of five students and two professors in 2017, and the aim is to “continue with the project so that it becomes a product for the market.”
For the student, “imagination ends up being the limit in such a generic robot”. Several students involved in robotics use CHARMIE for their research projects, in which they try to implement new tasks, such as using lifts and dishwashers.
CHARMIE won seventh place in last year’s RoboCup, held in Bordeaux, France, in the project’s first participation in competitions. Tiago Ribeiro said that the team is already “preparing the material for next year’s RoboCup qualification”, which will take place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 2024. The aim is to “achieve something more”, the student pointed out.
Although “many hours and days” are invested in the project, the academy student is “happy to be at a stage where he can demonstrate the quality of the robot and take part in robotics championships.”
Congratulations Charmie! The School of Engineering is proud of you and your mentors!