AI News, HRP-4 Hides It All Somewhere

HRP-4 Hides It All Somewhere

HRP-4 is designed to aid in the development of robots that could replace humans in simple manual labor, specifically to address Japan’s impending labor shortage (due to an aging population and low birthrate).

While I’m all for androids, when it comes to manual labor and repetitive tasks the human form (while adaptable) is not necessarily optimal, and I have to wonder whether it really makes sense to use humans as a research model in that respect.

Japan takes another step in replacing humans with robots

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Humanoid robot

A humanoid robot is a robot with its body shape built to resemble the human body.

The design may be for functional purposes, such as interacting with human tools and environments, for experimental purposes, such as the study of al locomotion, or for other purposes.

In general, humanoid robots have a torso, a head, two arms, and two legs, though some forms of humanoid robots may model only part of the body, for example, from the waist up.

Human cognition is a field of study which is focused on how humans learn from sensory information in order to acquire perceptual and motor skills.

Although the initial aim of humanoid research was to build better orthosis and prosthesis for human beings, knowledge has been transferred between both disciplines.

A few examples are powered leg prosthesis for neuromuscularly impaired, ankle-foot orthosis, biological realistic leg prosthesis and forearm prosthesis.

Besides the research, humanoid robots are being developed to perform human tasks like personal assistance, through which they should be able to assist the sick and elderly, and dirty or dangerous jobs.

In essence, since they can use tools and operate equipment and vehicles designed for the human form, humanoids could theoretically perform any task a human being can, so long as they have the proper software.

Humanoid robots, especially those with artificial intelligence algorithms, could be useful for future dangerous and/or distant space exploration missions, without having the need to turn back around again and return to Earth once the mission is completed.

The Shadow Hand uses an array of 34 tactels arranged beneath its polyurethane skin on each finger tip.[3] Tactile sensors also provide information about forces and torques transferred between the robot and other objects.

While electric coreless motor actuators are better suited for high speed and low load applications, hydraulic ones operate well at low speed and high load applications.

In planning and control, the essential difference between humanoids and other kinds of robots (like industrial ones) is that the movement of the robot has to be human-like, using legged locomotion, especially biped gait.

Maintenance of the robot’s gravity center over the center of bearing area for providing a stable position can be chosen as a goal of control.[4] To maintain dynamic balance during the walk, a robot needs information about contact force and its current and desired motion.

To allow humanoids to move in complex environments, planning and control must focus on self-collision detection, path planning and obstacle avoidance.

Robots Dance Their Way Into Uncanny Valley, Next Stop: Your Heart

Only back in September we covered android HRP4, and his amazingly dextrous limbs–he was, we suggested, a little like the fore-runner to some of the simple ‘bots in Will Smith’s film of I, Robot. It looks like AIST has taken some of the thinking of HRP4 and added it into the HRP4C gynoid they’ve been working on, since the robot is now so convincingly smooth-moved that it easily surpasses the mechanical (sorry!) moves we’re used to from other humanoid ‘bots like Asimo.

Now rewind it, squint a little, and watch again: You’ll almost be able to mistake the ‘bot for one of the real dancers on the stage. Uncanny valley, ladies and gentlemen–HRP4C is busy dancing her way in here, and if the trend continues we can imagine future HRPx units dancing out the other side with a realism and finesse that may even be enough to move you emotionally if you saw them performing live.

SNEAK PEEK: Schaft "bi-pedal" Walking Robot by Google (Alphabet)

Schaft Robot by Google.

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