Humanoid robot

Humanoid robot

Robot with its body shape built to resemble that of the human body

Humanoid robots are robots built to resemble the human body, with a head, torso, two arms and two legs. Humanoid robots use an array of sensors, actuators, and artificial intelligence and robotics engineering to perform tasks in the scientific research applications, space exploration, personal assistance, healthcare, hospitality, education, entertainment, search and rescue, manufacturing, maintenance, and public relations.

Humanoid robots have been produced by a number of universities and academic research labs, as well as private sector companies like Honda, Toyota, Hanson Robotics, PAL Robotics, Agility Robotics, Samsung Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Labs, Macco Robotics, Engineered Arts, and SoftBank Robotics.

In October 2017, the humanoid robot Sophia, produced by Hanson Robotics, was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia. Sophia serves as the Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme.

Appearance

Humanoid robots may only exhibit sections of the human body, for example, from the waist up. One of the most distinctive attributes of the humanoid robot is the ability to replicate human function in the arms and bipedal walking ability in the legs.

Some humanoid robots may also feature human facial features.

COVID-19

Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020, the use of humanoid robots increased as companies attempted to cope with staffing deficiencies and social distancing requirements globally.

Robotics engineers worldwide worked to roll a number of humanoid robots in the healthcare field to help hospital staff care for patients. A field hospital staffed by humanoid robots was opened in Wuhan, China in March 2020.

Humanoid robots were also rolled out in the manufacturing, logistics, and retail sectors during the pandemic.

Timeline

2014

SoftBank Robotics releases its Pepper robot commercially

December 2013

DARPA Robotics Challenge ranks the top 16 humanoid robots

Participants in the DARPA-sponsored challenge competed for a prize pool of $2 million. The leading team, SCHAFT, was bought by Google.

2010

NASA and General Motors reveal Robonaut 2

Robonaut 2 was a humanoid robot included in the payload for a Space Shuttle Discovery mission which launched on February 24, 2011. Robonaut 2 was designed to perform simple tasks during spacewalks.

2008

Work on Salvius starts

Salvius was the first open source robot to be built in the U.S. Made of salvaged parts, the humanoid robot was designed to perform a number of domestic tasks.

2005

Hanson Robotics releases the PKD Android

The Philip K. Dick Android is a humanoid robot modeled after science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. Hanson Robotics debuted the robot at Wired Nextfest in 2005.

2000

Honda releases ASIMO, a bipedal robot which is able to run.

1991

Honda develops the P1 (Prototype Model 1) through P3, robots with upper limbs.

Honda developed these robots through 1997.

1986

Honda develops a series of bipedal robots given the names E0 (Experimental Model 0) through E6.

1984

Waseda University develops WABOT-2

Research and development work into WABOT-2 started in 1980. Researchers set the objective of playing a keyboard piano, which they deemed a sufficiently "intelligent task" for their robot to accomplish. Because of the relatively constrained nature of the task, the WABOT-2 was considered a "specialist robot." WABOT-2 was capable of conversing in Japanese, reading sheet music with its electronic "eye", and playing music using its mechanical hands.

1980

Marc Raibert establishes the MIT Leg Lab, which focuses on researching legged movement and developing legged robots capable of locomotion.

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People

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Further reading

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Humanoid Robots | RIA Service Robots

Web

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

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Companies

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Agility Robotics

Alphabet Inc

Barrett Technology

Canonical Group

Dyson

Embodied

Fonazione Istituo Italiano

Hanson Robotics

Harvest Automation

Honda Motor Company

Intuitive Robots

Kindred Systems

Kondo Kagaku

Macco Robotics

PAL Robotics

Rethink Robotics

Robosavvy

Robotis

Samsung

Sastra Robotics

Shadow Robot Company

Toyota Motor Corporations

Ubtech

Waseda University

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References

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