Kenshiro robot gets muscles and bones, still isn't a real boy

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Revealed at the recent Humanoids Conference, the University of Tokyo's Kenshiro robot is an artificial biped with certain unusual characteristics. Unlike the average robot, it's not just a facsimile of the human body; Kenshiro actually has artificial muscles of its own.

Measuring 158 centimeters (about 5 feet, 2 inches) in height and 50 kilograms (about 110 pounds) in weight, Kenshiro has almost all of the major muscles that are in the average 12-year old male's body. There are 50 of them in its legs, 76 muscles in the trunk, 12 in the shoulder, and 22 muscles collaring Kenshiro's neck.

Have I mentioned that it also has an actual ribcage? Because it does, and I'm not sure if I've seen anything creepier than the Kenshiro's disembodied and skin-free torso gyrating in place. As an added bonus, the Kenshiro also has proper planar muscles—much like the human abdomen—and about 64 degrees of freedom.

So, why the attempt at mimicking the human physique? IEEE Spectrum explained that Kenshiro's unique musculature allows it to do things like uncannily human-like leg lifts. Additionally, while it's nowhere near as quick, Kenshiro also apparently has almost the same amount of joint torque as a flesh-and-blood human being.

So, it's pretty much official. We're not only doomed to servitude to our robotic overlords, we're also going to have to contend with the fact they'll be forever fitter than us.

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