Roboy puts human-like guts into robot bodies; human obsolescence edges closer

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Roboy/University of Zurich

Plenty of robots have bodies that are meant to look like ours, but what about what’s going on inside those metal frames? This is where the likeness between humans and robots ends—unless you are part of the Roboy project.

Roboy comes via researchers at the University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, who aim to not only make a robot seem human on the outside, but also have a similar tendon-based internal structure.

The 15 partners and 40 engineers looked at human biology in order to get Roboy moving just like a person would, which, as you might expect, requires a frame that resembles a human skeleton. This will allow Roboy to walk more elegantly, so it avoids the clunky “robot dance” movement robots have (which is due to the limitation of joint motors). Even the skin material used will be as soft as a human’s.

The researchers hope that Roboy will improve communication between robots and humans. Roboy is a service robot too, so it'll eventually be able to perform tasks without any human input—and that’s jobs, not just the household chores.

Roboy is nowhere near complete yet. The project started five months ago using crowdfunding, but the Swiss team aim to have Roboy completely finished in about nine months. If you want to help make a freakily accurate tendon-driven bot, you can pledge funding over on Roboy’s website.

Or you could just become Roboy's friend on Facebook—I wonder if Facebook has a "no automatons" rule in its terms of service?

[Roboy via Laughing Squid]

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