Team Hector is based at the Department of Computer Science of Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt in Germany. The team's mission is to research and develop highly diverse mobile search and rescue robots cooperating with each other and a remote human supervisor to achieve a common mission. Very recently Team Hector started to investigate advanced legged locomotion and manipulation abilities for humanoid disaster response robots.
Team Hector's squad for participation in the DRC Finals was formed in April 2015 after successful qualification with its new humanoid robot. It consists of 13 team members (4 PhD student researchers, 8 Master's students, one professor) which are all affiliated with TU Darmstadt. The team members cover the different capabilities needed for participation in the competition. Team Hector uses the momentum of its participation to boost its recently started developments in humanoid robots for disaster response through preparation for the DRC Finals.
Team Hector's humanoid robot Johnny 05 is based on the THOR-MANG platform of ROBOTIS. Johnny 05 is quite lightweight (55kg) and 1.47m tall. Its modular design enables repair and replacement of any hardware component in an efficient manner. Johnny uses a custom hand design developed by Virginia Tech's DRC Teams THOR and VALOR as well as a new onboard computer and a new sensor head developed by Team Hector.
For the high level software for robot control and operator interface, Team Hector largely relies on the humanoid robot agnostic algorithms and software developed by DRC Team ViGIR (TORC Robotics, TU Darmstadt, Virginia Tech, Oregon State Univ., Cornell Univ., Leibniz Univ. Hanover). Thus, the applicability and capability of Team ViGIR's modular ROS-based software for use with other humanoid robot systems such as the THOR-MANG humanoid robot is demonstrated.
After the DRC, Team Hector will open source all of its relevant software developments for Johnny 05 through an already established repository at GitHub to foster worldwide research and development in humanoid robots for disaster response tasks and has already started to do so. A basic open source ROS library for the robot has already been developed with support from ROBOTIS and made available at GitHub.