August 26, 2009

Robot with bones moves like you do

Video: Bony robot

YOU may have more in common with this robot than any other - it was designed using your anatomy as a blueprint.
Conventional humanoid robots may look human, but the workings under their synthetic skins are radically different from our anatomy. A team with members across five European countries says this makes it difficult to build robots able to move like we do.
Their project, the Eccerobot, has been designed to duplicate the way human bones, muscles and tendons work and are linked together. The plastic bones copy biological shapes and are moved by kite-line that is tough like tendons, while elastic cords mimic the bounce of muscle.
Mimicking human anatomy is no shortcut to success, though, as even simple human actions like raising an arm involve a complex series of movements from many of the robot's bones, muscles and tendons. However, the team is convinced that solving these problems will enable the construction of a machine that interacts with its environment in a more human manner.
Simple human actions like raising an arm involve a complex series of movements for the robot
"We want to develop these ideas into a new kind of 'anthropomimetic robot' which can deal with and respond to the world in ways closer to the ways that humans do," says Owen Holland at the University of Sussex, UK, who is leading the project.
The team also intends to endow the robot with some human-like artificial intelligence.
Holland's Sussex group are joined on the project by researchers from the Technical University of Munich, Germany; University of Zurich, Switzerland; University of Belgrade, Serbia; and French firm The Robot Studio.
Originally posted in New scientist

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