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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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Honda releases ASIMO, a bipedal robot which is able to run.
Honda develops the P1 (Prototype Model 1) through P3, robots with upper limbs.

Honda developed these robots through 1997.

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

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

Further Resources


Humanoid Robots | RIA Service Robots


The ABOT (Anthropomorphic roBOT) Database



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