Man or machine? Freaky robot attempts to mimic human body with 160 robo-muscles

// December 13th, 2012 // Robotics


Kenshiro robot with 160 muscles

The Kenshiro robot, an ongoing project at the University of Tokyo, aims to simulate a person right down the muscles and bones and so far, they seem to be getting pretty close.  The robot intends to imitate the human body’s musculature using over 160 cables and motors. There are 76 in the torso, 22 in the neck, 25 in each leg, and 12 in each shoulder. The many muscles and tendons governing the face, hands, and feet are left out or grossly simplified, being at present too complex to include.  The robot is being built to the specs of a 120 pound, 12-year-old, human boy.

According to NBC News:

“The muscles, bone structure and spine are meant to work and flex the way ours do, not just accomplish similar tasks. The idea is to eventually build a robot that not only looks like a human or can work in the same space as humans, but one that actually moves and acts using the same principles and mechanisms.”

Researchers noted that simply adding artificial muscles and bones to human body specs introduced weight problems (and hence, balance problems) so they began to build the robot one body part at a time. The robot’s bones are made of aluminum that have been connected together in a way that very closely resembles the way human bones are connected, e.g. artificial ligaments, etc.  At this point, the robot can walk – but just barely.

Watch Kenshiro being tested in the video below:

Human like robot has over 160 muscles
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