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July 11, 2011 AT 12:36 pm

The ECCE Humanoid Robot Uses Muscle-like Actuators

From the website:

Standard humanoid robots mimic the human form, but the mechanisms used in such robots are very different from those in humans, and the characteristics of the robots reflect this. This places severe limitations on the kinds of interactions such robots can engage in, on the knowledge they can acquire of their environment, and therefore on the nature of their cognitive engagement with the environment.

However, a new kind of robot is being developed by this project consortium – an anthropomimetic robot. Instead of just copying the outward form of a human, it copies the inner structures and mechanisms – bones, joints, muscles, and tendons – and thus has the potential for human-like action and interaction in the world.


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5 Comments

  1. “This places severe limitations on […] the nature of their cognitive engagement with the environment.”

    I understand wanting to play up your research to improve your changes of getting grants and all, but this is somewhat less than plausible. Replace servos on joints with stored energy linear actuators and somehow your robot’s “cognitive engagement with the environment” will be enhanced? Sorry, not buying it.

    Still, a cool robot and an interesting project.

  2. That struck me the first time I read it too, but I think what they’re getting at is that servos are sort of a brute-force actuation method, and they are limited in terms of the path in which they can travel and act, while muscular cables are a bit more nuanced.

    That said, I think the word “cognitive” is misused — I’d have probably said “sensory” or “tactile”.

  3. There are robots out there that have better human movement than that. The robot is still very jerky.

  4. Now, how am I supposed to overcome my parasomnia? Queue up a whole new series of nightmares…

  5. LOL. When he said “The main idea of this robot is…” I mentally finished the sentence with, “to scare the bejeezus out of little children.”
    ~Joe

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