Animal Based Robots
A robot with a body shape resembling that of the human body.
Humanoid robots generally have a torso, a head, two arms, and two legs.
Kinetics of humanoid robots involves legged locomotion or biped gait (i.e., walking).
Robotic walking is a surprisingly difficult process, involving a complex set of synchronized and balanced movements (part of field of study termed “Kinematics”).
~ PAST ~
Leonardo Da Vinci, the ultimate Renaissance Man, built the first humanoid robot circa 1495, a knight automaton powered by pulleys and gears. It could move its jaw, sit down, and walk. Working models have been created of the knight (which was lost or destroyed).
~ PRESENT ~
Humanoid robots of today can look and move virtually identically to humans. Theoretically, they can perform any job using tools or operating equipment and vehicles designed for the human form, provided the complex software can be developed. Human-like robots are increasingly important for social interaction and entertainment purposes.
Disney’s Animatronic Robot
Can juggle balls and play
catch with humans
Humanoid robots of today can simulate a range of human kinetics—
Although wheeled robots are energy efficient and simple to control, bipedal locomotion may be more appropriate for traversing rough terrain, moving in human environments, and benefiting biomechanics. However, coordinating a large number of robot joints is difficult (for example, to climb stairs). Autonomous robot locomotion is another major technological obstacle for humanoids. These limitations still make it problematic for humanoids to negotiate uneven terrain.
In the NXT robot, motors are responsible for motion. Alpha Rex utilizes one motor for each foot, which may be programmed to function out of phase to produce bipedal locomotion. Programming must also focus on path planning and avoiding collision with obstacles (using sensors to gather data and control reactions).
~ FUTURE ~
Households may have a humanoid robot to perform most tasks or provide companionship. Intelligent robots will be able to sense their environments, make decisions, and learn. The robot “brain” may come to execute 100 trillion instructions per second, rivaling human intelligence. Businesses will come to rely more and more on robots, leading to a “Robotic Revolution” in industry, manufacturing, and agriculture. Military operations may become fully robotic, and the first colonists in space may be robots!
Robotic kinetics will be improved by ongoing advances in robotic musculoskeletal systems. A major goal is developing the capabilities for robots to autonomously decide how, when, and where to move. Eventually, robots may be capable of any human motor feat, including the ability to assess any obstacle and devise techniques to surmount it!