Researchers in Japan have unveiled a pair of humanoid robots that are claimed to be the most advanced systems of their kind ever built.
Described in a paper published in the journal Science Robotics, and developed at the University of Tokyo, the two robots – named Kenshiro and Kengoro – have been designed to mimic humans as closely as possible, in order to enable researchers to explore the behaviour of the human body in ways not previously possible.
The most advanced of the two robots, Kengoro , is claimed to have six times the degree of freedom of other humanoids, and is able to move more of its parts in more human-like ways compared to other robots.
Equipped with joints that closely mimic the architecture of human joints, and five-fingered hands and feet that enable it to balance and perform complex manual tasks, the robot is able to carry out a variety of tricks, such as standing on its toes, and even performing push-ups, pull-ups, and back bends.
Intriguingly, the robot even uses a process similar to sweating to prevent it from overheating, with water tubes threaded through its body collecting heat and dissipating it by venting steam through holes in its aluminium skeleton.
The group claims that ultra-lifelike robots could be used to advance the study of the human body, in particular as an advanced test dummy that could shed light on how the body reacts to traumas such as car crashes.