Mat Bunting, a University of Arizona electrical-engineering senior, saw dollar signs in his eyes when Intel came knocking on his door. Apparently a video he uploaded to YouTube (seen below) prompted the processor giant to track down and flash cash in his face. Why? It's all because of a dancing hexapod robot he built using an Intel Atom processor.
It only took two days for the YouTube robot to spark a glimmer in Intel's eye. On a hardware level, the robot uses the 1.60 GHz Atom Z530 processor and the US15W chipset. The robotic spider also runs on the Ubuntu open-source operating system, and features a camera on its "face" that helps the robot determine where it's going. The robot even "adaptively learns" how to best achieve its forward-moving goal.
"One of the things I wanted to explore was the idea of reinforcement learning," Bunting said. "What I wanted to do was not pre-program any of those walking algorithms, I wanted it to figure out how to walk straight forward on its own. It has the ability to figure it out itself."
According to CNET, the spider robot was the result of a final project in Bunting's UA class on cognitive robotics using spare parts. After spotting the robot, Intel ordered two units to use in Atom demonstrations on the road. CrustCrawler Robotics was also impressed, and signed on Bunting to develop software for several of its products.