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HRP-4C Robot, Proof of Concept

The HRP-4C Robot (pictured right - photo, Yahoo News) that recently strutted down the catwork at a Japanese fashion show is a very exciting development in humanoid, robot technology because, as far as I'm concerned, it's 'proof of concept'.

What I mean by that is it looks good enough and is functional enough as a piece of hardware to say the technology is there to build human like robots. Stating the obvious really but that's what 'proof of concept' actually is, a working example of an idea. Watch the video below to see HRP-4C in action.


Video posted by sys2074

This humanoid fashion model is 158 cm (5 ft 2 inch) tall, weighs in at 43 kg (95 lb) can walk, talk and even express some facial emotions was developed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

The only thing that really spoils its human like appearance is that the robots hands are currently not automated from the wrist down. No doubt this will be addressed on future models.

That aside, it shows we're not far from realizing the movie style, humanoid robots we've dreamed about for decades. This one in particular is very reminiscent the early NS-4 model robots that appeared in the Will Smith movie, I Robot. Especially in the way they walk.

I know we're still a long way off from a true humanoid robot that is completely autonomous. I doubt HRP-4C can even see where she's going (I tried to find out but I'd hazard a guess that she's operated via remote control rather than truly independent of human assistance).

However HRP-4C is a great base to try and build the extra technology into. The main point I was trying to make is that a fully intelligent robot, with current technology could look more like C3PO from the Star Wars movies than R2D2.

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