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Chapter 2. Robot Evolution > Humanoid Robots

Humanoid Robots

As we’ve already discussed, we humans love a robot fashioned in our own image. Science fiction has pushed this idea of what a robot should be, almost to the exclusion of all others. So it’s no wonder that anytime a robot builder—amateur or pro—creates a robot with two legs, two arms, and a head, the world beats a path to the laboratory door. The world has been so taken by Honda’s flashy humanoid robots that few people (including otherwise skeptical journalists) have bothered to ask what sort of brains control these bots. The answer is: human. Honda spent over a hundred year’s worth of development hours (and untold yen) getting the walking technology perfected, and figuring out how to cram all of the electronics, servos, and batteries into a humanoid shell. The P-series and the ASIMO are really proof-of-concept models for robotic mobility. The progenitor of the line (the E1) was actually only a set of legs, with a weight above the hips to approximate a full body weight. It was only after Honda engineers got the walking gait and balancing technologies working that they built the rest of the robot.


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