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Toyota Reveals A Humanoid Robot That Can Run 216

Peter writes "Toyota researchers have unveiled a new humanoid robot that can run at 7 km/h, which is faster than Honda's humanoid robot ASIMO. Toyota's robot can also keep itself balanced when pushed, as shown in the video."
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Toyota Reveals A Humanoid Robot That Can Run

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  • by powerslave12r ( 1389937 ) on Saturday August 01, 2009 @06:26PM (#28912329)
    It is likely that this position allows more leeway to handle a situation in which the "legs" may need to be stretched out to balance itself, and to leave some room for climbing staircases etc. It also probably has something to do with balancing the CG.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 01, 2009 @06:30PM (#28912347)

    I suspect the not insignificant weight of the battery pack might have something to do with it?

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hitmark ( 640295 ) on Saturday August 01, 2009 @06:36PM (#28912379) Journal

    oh i think they have a firm plan for commercialize this, btw. Japan's population is growing ever older (as is the rest of the developed world, as more people push education and career before family, and have smaller families when they finally get round to it), and have a very xenophobic outlook (tho the samurai of old benefited from from immigrant workers, said workers where seen as lower then the lowest nipponese, and the descendants from said workers may well find themselves discriminated against to this day).

    As such, these robots are seen as a technological solution to the workforce erosion, taking on menial and hazardous tasks, without having to reevaluate their views on the outside world.

  • by bertoelcon ( 1557907 ) on Saturday August 01, 2009 @06:47PM (#28912455)
    But I thought the Japanese invented Gundam Suits and various Mech armors like that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 01, 2009 @07:53PM (#28912901)

    Dude if someone kicked me like they kick BigDog in those demo video's I'd damn well fall over. So I wouldn't hold it against ASIMO if it did too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 01, 2009 @08:07PM (#28912983)

    The answer is simple then.

    If they are xenophobic, and their population is aging, wait for them to die out enough and then they will have little choice but to integrate with the Collective ... urrhh or maybe just be forced to accept outside help.

    Globalisation is a force that can now only be stopped by the scarcity of fuel for global travel. Deal with it. Forget race because we're all humans.

  • by renrutal ( 872592 ) <> on Saturday August 01, 2009 @10:14PM (#28913571)

    If your definition of invention is 'to wrrite science fiction stories', then yes.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @12:30AM (#28914087) Homepage

    One would assume that it's not unreasonably hard to start from walking and move to running.

    Yes, one would assume that. And one would be wrong.

    People have been studying locomotion for centuries. Until the 1980s, almost everyone obsessed on gait issue. There's an extensive literature on stride length, footfall pattern, and similar gait issues. Most locomotion studies focused on straight-line movement, too.

    The real issue is handling the hard cases - slipping, tripping, hills, finding footholds. That's what legs are for. (On flat ground, wheels are easier and better. There is no point making legged machines which can only handle flat ground.) Legs are assets to be deployed as necessary to get first traction, then balance, then propulsion. Gaits are an emergent behavior of that process.

  • by smoker2 ( 750216 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:19AM (#28915483) Homepage Journal

    5) Would you rather lose a lot of human lives in a war, or let the robots do the fighting for you?

    So it's ok if the humans lives are lost only on the opposing side ? What if you're the aggressor ? What if both sides have robots ? If one side is defeated, what happens then ? Are these military robots going to run the occupation government, or just slaughter all humans ?

    If there is no risk to your human forces in a war, there is no reason to avoid war. Do you think nuclear weapons have been unused for a half century because they save lives of your country men, or because their use is unconscionable and would result in massive civilian death on both sides ?

    War is not a game, and making it into one does not solve any problems. If your country was invaded how do you fight back ? Do you set aside a field where your countrys force of 1000 robots does battle with the invaders 100,000 robots ? You will lose, and you have still been invaded. What you really do is fight a guerilla action and make it so expensive in lives and equipment that the invader has to withdraw. Have Afghanistan/Korea/Vietnam taught you nothing ? Or do you look forward to a Terminator type existence where you spend your life running and hiding from machines ? Last I heard, Al Quaida has no regular army, air force, ICBMs or the like but they sure made the US pucker its ass. Less than 20 people made the world flinch. Try defending against that with robots. I'm pretty sure that if the US invaded a country by using robots, you would get more of the same. There is nothing worse than a bully who refuses to meet you and fight on equal terms. Far from removing the human consequences, you would ensure that you were sought out and destroyed as punishment for your disrespect and cowardice.

    You appear to be comfortable with the notion of sitting on your fat ass in the basement watching family guy and eating cheetos while a scene from the Terminator is played out in a foreign country, in an action run by your government on your behalf. Beware, what goes around, comes around.

    6) The only way to win is not to play.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"