Valter The Robot

Let me present to you my personal project Valter The Robot. General interest in modern trends in automation and thinking about the time, usually spent, on doing housekeeping routines had inspired me few years ago to start this project.

Valter The Robot (ROS Wiki)

For at least last 3 years (after major Valter assembly was completed) I’m heavily using ROS for various of tasks. I’m still in an active stage of improving / implementing different autonomous behavior of my robot.
Besides this I’m trying to make it more gentle, more social… And all this for a certain good reason! Indeed, I have very specific steady problem while working with robot Valter. My older son very much afraid of it.
Neither I nor my wife never told my son Igor that Valter (the robot) could harm him in any manner. On the contrary, we say all the time that robot Valter loves him and wants to take care of him. Moreover I’m trying as much as possible to make my robot more gentle (speaking to Igor in his specific “child” language, making him presents like new toys).
Such a problem results into the following situation: it’s possible to work productivley with robot only at night, thanks robot is pretty quiet while operating. So the overall progress is not so strong as I would like it to be. But I’m constantly doing improvements.
As nearest super-goals I see the following:

  • make Valter even more social and delicate
  • make Valter even more autonomous (unmanned charging from wall 220V outlet with charger module, docking to 12V charger-station)
  • improve visual RTABMap Ros navigation (odometry) with backup on-board localization sub-sybstems
  • improve object recognition with ORK
  • develop and produce special hand-tools / graspers for precise manipulation with small objects

As a side project I’m working on Virtual Laboratory (web-browser WebGL based real time 3d interactive web application) for technical schools/universities where I used highly detailed textured Valter model.

In future plans I have an idea of integration Virtual Laboratory with real Valter.


I am in awe of your creation! I wish I had an answer for your son’s fear of Valter. I’m sure that when he gets older he will understand that Valter is harmless to him. Also, you have a very understanding wife - Valter doesn’t look inexpensive.

Could you use the mapping algorithms to make a detailed map of the house and test Valter in the simulator during the day? All of your goals look doable, given enough time and parts.

I can picture Valter with a tool-belt with various attachments for his hands.

I would love to see Valter at a science fiction convention sometime.


Wow, that is an amazing robot!!

About your son fears, you can try inviting him to play with Valter,
painting or putting some stickers on it and even asking him to come up with
tasks to Valter, or teaching him how to operate the robot. In other words,
try to make him see it as a toy instead of an entity.

Valter does does looks kinda scary, being big, tall, metalic and we almost
cannot see its eyes. I’ve read somewhere that large, round and white eyes
provide some comfort for viewers, (eg the usual kids cartoons, animes,
robots as Nao…), even if the other features of a face are not visible
(nose, mouth, ears…).


Thanks for advises! I think the most effective way to start overcoming fear of Valter is to start operate with him. I will try to invite my son in teleoperation session with joystick remotely from another room or from outside of apartment. Also I will try to invite some children, friends of Igor, which I know for sure from previous, enjoys how Valter looks and behaves to demonstrate that there is no danger from Valter side. In other words - continue Valter’s socialization process :wink:
Thanks for your words of approval!

This is really an amazing robot! You must have put an incredible amount of work into it. Good job!

Thanks, Jay for your so positive characteristic of Valter. It’s really important for me. Most of people who knows me and Valter tells exactly the same - time will pretty soon solve the problem with fear of Valter, and moreover will help to eliminate such a problem with my younger son (he is now 1 y.o.).
Thanks to my wife, she understands how important is what I’m doing for our children in future in terms of motivation and positive example. I would like them to be well educated and I believe Valter will be a good example of how to solve complex technical issues and steadily achieve final goals. Besides this, you are absolutely right - this is pretty expensive project (~ price of business class vehicle) which became possible to bring it to reality due to what I’m doing every day - commercial / enterprise software development. And despite I could make more money on my everyday work I made a decision to invest part of my time (and money) in future and get deeper into robotics. I hope my sons will appreciatate such a decision when they get grown up.
About simulator - I’m hardly working on this right now. Trying to put valuable parts into Gazebo. I had RTABMap assembled detailed map of the house, but I’m planning to create a detailed plan with photo textures in Blender.

Thanks, Martin. Indeed 6 years of development and assembly and about a price of good car. As I sad before - neither I nor my wife do not regret spending time and money on such an activity since we believe that’s in first turn an investments in education of our children.

hi, very cool work. I read the robots hand has 12 force feedback sensors. What sensors do you use? Do you control the fingers with servos and wire-ropes? Is there anywhere more information about the robots hand/fingers?

Yes, robot has 12 force feedback sensors, 6 on each palm. Yes, I control fingers with servos and metal tiny ropes. I believe it’s better to see once than listen to a pile of verbal explanations.

Finger tips and internal palm surface later were covered with silicone to prevent slipping of smooth objects.

Force sensors prepared for installation

And some photos from hands’ assembly stage…

Low-level Valter’s control software (left and right hand’s widgets where sensors readings are displayed)

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While developing Valter I have made a lot of investigations, among which there was a overview of existing sensors of different types. See the results of this overview on my youtube channel

thanks for the pics. Are these flexiforce sensors? I really dont understand where they are mounted ? On every finger 3 sensors under these black rubber squares? You got 6 fingers, 6x3=18 , or are there any sensors missing on some fingers? And the electronic cables of the sensors are on the backside of the finger? I see the cables on the backside of the fingers but cannot see the sensors .

I also builld a hand Robotic Humanoid hand , thats why i am so curious :slight_smile:

flobotics, you do really nice thing - amount of degrees of freedom of fingers on your robotic hand is impressive! I don’t use flexiforce sensors. I’m using sensors like these on fingers. Sensors installed not even on all fingers phalanges. Each palm has 10 finger pads sensors (where black cables going out of phalanges) and two big force sensors on the internal surface of the palm. Look once more at photos.