Hey, have you checked out our latest book? It’s called ROBOTICA: Mechanical Marvels and Mind-Melting Machines of the Past, Present, and Future. It’s full of interesting stories about amazing robots…just like this one.
When you think “robot,” you probably think of an upright, humanlike figure, right? This kind of robot is just a small part of what can and has been done in the field of robotics, and the science is still very far from creating a robot that looks, acts, and seems completely human. Most robots are simpler affairs, with scientists choosing to focus on a robot that does one thing, or replicates one human behavior, such as voice recognition, or navigating terrain, or walking on two legs.
Researchers at Tokyo University’s JSK Lab have been working on a robot that aims to do just one thing, too: recreate in robot form the human musculoskeletal system. (Which seems like way more than one thing.)
They’ve been working on the project since 2001, and recently unveiled Kenshiro, it’s fifth-generation and most anatomically correct (bones-and-muscle-wise) robot that anyone has ever created.
About the size of a 12-year-old child, it stands just over five feet tall and weighs 1100 pounds, which was difficult considering all the heavy metal, machinery, hydraulics, servos, gears, and other robot stuff that had to be included. Not just a shell encasing parts, Kenshiro is outfitted with an artificial skeleton, with bones made out of nearly unbreakable aluminum. Kenshiro’s muscles act just like real human muscles with an intricate pulley system. Kenshiro boasts a whopping 160 different muscles, 25 in each leg, six in each shoulder, 76 in the torso, and 22 in the neck. A real human body has about 650 muscles…but who’s counting? Kenshiro gets the jobs done.
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