Japanese Robot Mimics Human Form With Lifelike Bones and Muscles
In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, a clone army was created using the DNA of one Jango Fett, and the clone army took on humanoid properties. Likewise, in the 2004 movie “I Robot,” based on the Isaac Asimov book by the same name, anthropomorphic robots are widespread by the year 2035. In fact, the concept has been used frequently by sci-fi authors and directors.
Now, Yuto Nakanishi and researchers at the University of Tokyo have taken a step toward making fantasy reality. Their robot, Kenshiro—unveiled at the Humanoids conference in Osaka earlier this month—has a human-like musculoskeletal system. The researchers have upgraded their original 2010 Kojiro robot, adding more muscles and motors, creating a structure that more closely mirrors the human form.
At 5’1” and about 110 pounds, Kenshiro is designed to simulate the body an average Japanese 12-year-old boy, and its structure includes most major human muscles—more than any humanoid preceding it. The robot is also able to mimic many human movements, including gymnastic-like leg lifts. A system of pulley-like muscles enable the movements.
Likewise, Kenshiro’s bone aluminum bone structure is sturdier than previous 3D printed-bone models. It even has joints that imitate important ligaments and a floating patella.
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