Japanese researchers build robot with most humanlike muscle-skeleton structure yet (w/ video)

Dec 12, 2012 by Bob Yirka weblog

(Phys.org)—Researchers at the University of Tokyo have taken another step towards creating a robot with a faithfully recreated human skeleton and muscle structure. Called Kenshiro, the robot has been demonstrated at the recent Humanoids 2012 conference in Osaka, Japan.

Kenshiro is the next step for the researchers. Their previous effort resulted in a robot they called Kojiro – a robot that demonstrated the huge strides that have come in mimicking the human body, as well as the very long road yet to travel. In this new iteration, Kenshiro was preceded by a robot concept the team called Kenzoh. In that effort the team found that simply adding and bones generally tended to create weight problems. The upper body alone came to 45 kg. That caused the team to go back to the , this time with the idea of mimicking human bone and muscle at the individual body part level, i.e. a backbone, calf, or knee joint. Each part was custom designed to fall within the weight parameters of actual human limbs and other parts of the body.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The result is a robot sized to approximate the average 12 year old Japanese boy – with bones made of aluminum that have been connected together in a way that very closely resembles the way are connected, e.g. artificial ligaments, etc., and a collection of muscles that mimic very closely those in the human body as well. Kenshiro has 160 muscles that are constructed using a single actuator motor for individual with each consisting of a system of wires and moving pulleys. "He" stands 158 centimeters tall and weighs 50 kilograms and at this time has more muscles than any other robot.

Though Kinshiro is a single individual robot, in action, it appears to be a collection of parts cobbled together to form a single whole. The robot can walk, but just barely. It can do deep knee bends, but the rest of the body seems out of sync. Thus, this new robot is clearly more of a research project than an attempt to build a robot that moves around like a real human being. It does very clearly demonstrate however, where the research is headed and what the ultimate goal is: nothing short of a robot that mimics the human body down to the very smallest details and moves in exactly the same ways.

Explore further: Innovative scientists update old-school pipetting with new-age technology

More information: via IEEE

Related Stories

HRP-4C female robot has a new walk (w/ video)

Nov 13, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Japan's entertaining robot that sings and looks like a beautiful young female is finally learning how to walk just like a beautiful girl—well, almost. Robotics developers at the National ...

Kondo Robot releases a hexapod robot kit (w/ video)

Apr 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Kondo Robot, a Japan-based robotics company known for selling robotics kits which often end up in robot-on-robot battles, announced the release of a new robot kit. The kit, named the KMR-M6 ...

Recommended for you

Crash-testing rivets

6 minutes ago

Rivets have to reliably hold the chassis of an automobile together – even if there is a crash. Previously, it was difficult to predict with great precision how much load they could tolerate. A more advanced ...

Charging electric cars efficiently inductive

16 minutes ago

We already charge our toothbrushes and cellphones using contactless technology. Researchers have developed a particularly efficient and cost-effective method that means electric cars could soon follow suit.

Customized surface inspection

26 minutes ago

The quality control of component surfaces is a complex undertaking. Researchers have engineered a high-precision modular inspection system that can be adapted on a customer-specific basis and integrated into ...

Sensors that improve rail transport safety

31 minutes ago

A new kind of human-machine communication is to make it possible to detect damage to rail vehicles before it's too late and service trains only when they need it – all thanks to a cloud-supported, wireless ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Tri-ring
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 12, 2012
If you put synthetic skin and a head I believe we have ourselves a T-800 prototype.
NotAsleep
4.8 / 5 (5) Dec 12, 2012
A T-800 prototype that couldn't navigate the simplest of obstacles to chase you and couldn't travel any further than the length of it's power cord...
CapitalismPrevails
2.5 / 5 (6) Dec 12, 2012
iRobot? NS-5?
Expiorer
1 / 5 (2) Dec 13, 2012
Movements is what matters.
That robot moves like a broken drill.

If you make a robot that runs on uneven surface then I will say that machine looks smart (or dangerous).