Top Ten Robots

Top Ten Robots

       What can be said about robots that haven’t already been portrayed in countless science fiction movies? Will they create an unlimited supply of workers to take the load off human labor, or will we ultimately create an artificial intelligence even greater than our own, which will ultimately turn humans into robot’s slaves? I guess we will have to watch and find out. Here are some of the most interesting forays into the robotic industry.

  1. Bipedal Robot

    Japanese researchers have developed advanced robot software enabling “bipedal robots to stay on their feet no matter how much they’re pushed and kicked.”
  2. Honda ASIMO
    ASIMO is a humanoid robot created by Honda. Standing at 130 cm (4 feet 3 inches) and weighing 54 kilograms (114 pounds), the robot resembles a small astronaut wearing a backpack and can walk or run on two feet at speeds up to 6 km/h (4.3 mph), matching EMIEW. ASIMO was created at Honda’s Research & Development Wako Fundamental Technical Research Center in Japan. It is the current model in a line of twelve that began in 1986 with E0. ASIMO resembles a child in size and is the most human-like robot HONDA has made so far. The robot has 7 DOF (Degrees of freedom) in each arm, two joints of 3 DOF, shoulder and wrist, giving “Six degrees of freedom” and 1 DOF at the elbow; 6 DOF in each leg, 3 DOF at the crotch, 2 DOF at the ankle and 1 DOF at the knee; and 3 DOF in the neck joint. The hands have 2 DOF, 1 DOF in each thumb and 1 in each finger. This gives a total of 34 DOF in all joints. The name is an acronym for “Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility.” The online magazine, The Future Of Things (TFOT), states that Honda did not name the robot in reference to science fiction writer and inventor of the Three Laws of Robotics, Isaac Asimov.
    Links: Top Ten South Park Episodes,,
  3. REEM

    REEM-A and REEM-B are the first and second prototypes of humanoid robots created by PAL Robotics. REEM-B can recognize and grasp objects, lift heavy weights and go around by itself inside building complex, avoiding obstacles (Simultaneous localization and mapping). The robot accepts voice commands and recognize faces.
  4. HUBO

    HUBO is a walking humanoid robot, head mounted on a life-size walking bipedal frame, developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and released on January 6, 2005. Hubo is short form for “humanoid robot.” Hubo has voice recognition and synthesis faculties, as well as sophisticated vision in which its two eyes move independently of one another.
  5. Robonaut

    Robonaut is a humanoid robotic development project run from the Dextrous Robotics Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. The core idea behind the Robonaut series of robots is to have a humanoid machine to work along-side astronauts. Its form factor and dexterity are designed such that Robonaut can use space tools and work in similar environments to suited astronauts. Robonaut is a different class of robot than other current space faring robots. While most current space robotic systems focus on moving large objects, similar to a crane, or rovers for exploration, Robonaut’s focus is on tasks which require more dexterity. The first series of Robonauts (R1A and R1B) had many partners including DARPA. The second Robonaut series (R2A and R2B) was a joint effort between NASA and General Motors. R2 is going to be delivered to the ISS to be tested “in-doors” on STS-133 (current stated launch date November 1).
    Links: Top Ten Astronauts,,

    Manufactured by Kawada Industries, designed by Yutaka Izubuchi.
  7. HRP-4C

    The HRP-4C is a humanoid robot created by Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and publicly demonstrated on March 16, 2009. It is 158cm (5 feet 2 inches) tall and weighs 43kg (95 pounds) including battery. Its shape and joints are based on the 1997–1998 Japanese body dimension database. It is capable of the recognition of ambient sounds, and also can sing by the speech synthesis Vocaloid.
  8. iCub

    iCub is a 1 meter high humanoid robot testbed for research into human cognition and artificial intelligence. It was designed by the RobotCub Consortium, of several European universities and is now supported by other projects such as ITALK. The robot is open-source, with the hardware design, software and documentation all released under the GPL license. The name is a partial acronym, cub standing for Cognitive Universal Body. Initial funding for the project was €8.5 million from Unit E5, Cognitive Systems and Robotics, of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program, and this ran for 5 years from 1 September 2004 until 1 September 2010. The motivation behind the strongly humanoid design is the embodied cognition hypothesis, that human-like manipulation plays a vital role in the development of human cognition. A baby learns many cognitive skills by interacting with its environment and other humans using its limbs and senses, and consequently its internal model of the world is largely determined by the form of the human body. The robot was designed to test this hypothesis by allowing cognitive learning scenarios to be acted out by an accurate reproduction of the perceptual system and articulation of a small child so that it could interact with the world in the same way that such a child does.

    TWENDY-ONE is a domestic help robot and was developed by Waseda University.

    TOPIO (“TOSY Ping Pong Playing Robot”) is a bipedal humanoid robot designed to play table tennis against a human being. It has been developed since 2005 by TOSY, a robotics firm in Vietnam. It was publicly demonstrated at the Tokyo International Robot Exhibition (IREX) on November 28, 2007. TOPIO 3.0 (the latest version of TOPIO) stands approximately 1.88 m tall and weighs 120 kg. Every TOPIO uses an advanced artificial intelligence system to learn and continuously improve its skill level while playing.
  11. Toyota Partner Robot

    The Toyota Partner Robots are a series of humanoid robots developed by Toyota to enrich and assist the lives of Japan’s aging population. They debuted at the 2005 World EXPO in Aichi, Japan where they played music on drums and trumpets at. There are 5 robots in all, most of which have different movement systems. The 5 robots are: Version 1 (bipedal robot), Version 2 (segway-like wheels), Version 3 (segway-like wheels), Version 4 (unique wire system) and the i-Foot (mountable with 2 legs). In July 2009, Toyota released a video of the running and standing skills of their partner robot. The robot reaches 7 km/hour, however walking and running can only be achieved on flat surfaces.
  12. Mitsubishi Wakamaru

    Wakamaru is a Japanese domestic robot made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, primarily intended to provide companionship to elderly and disabled people. The robot is yellow, 1m tall, and weighs 30 kilograms. It has two arms and its flat, circular base has a diameter of 45 cm. The first hundred went on sale in September, 2005, for USD $14,000. Wakamaru runs a Linux operating system on multiple microprocessors. It can connect to the Internet, and has limited speech (in both male and female voices) and speech recognition abilities. Functions include reminding the user to take medicine on time, and calling for help if it suspects something is wrong.
  13. Hitachi EMIEW

    EMIEW is a robot developed by Hitachi. Another version has also been made called EMIEW 2. EMIEW stands for Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate. Two EMIEW’s have been made, called Pal and Chum. Hitachi stated that Pal and Chum, have a vocabulary of about 100 words, and Pal exhibited these skills by telling reporters: “I want to be able to walk about in places like Shinjuku and Shibuya in the future without bumping into people and cars.” Both EMIEW’s have a top speed of 6 km/h (matching ASIMO) and can avoid obstacles.
  14. Bonus: Actroid

    An Actroid is a humanoid robot and android with strong visual human-likeness developed by Osaka University and manufactured by Kokoro Company Ltd. (the animatronics division of Sanrio). It was first unveiled at the 2003 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, Japan. Several different versions of the product have been produced since then. In most cases, the robot’s appearance has been modeled after an average young woman of Japanese descent. The Actroid woman is a pioneer example of a real machine similar to imagined machines called by the science fiction terms android or gynoid, so far used only for fictional robots. It can mimic such lifelike functions as blinking, speaking, and breathing. The “Repliee” models are interactive robots with the ability to recognise and process speech and respond in kind.
  15. Bonus: Robotic Exoskeleton

  16. Bonus: Honda E-Series

    The E-series was a collection of successive humanoid robots created by the Honda Motor Company between the years of 1986 and 1993. These robots were only experimental, but later evolved into the Honda P series, with Honda eventually amassing the knowledge and experience necessary to create Honda’s advanced humanoid robot: ASIMO. The fact that Honda had been developing the robots was kept secret from the public until the announcement of the Honda P2 in 1996. E0, developed in 1986, was the very first robot. It walked in a straight line on two feet, in a manner resembling human locomotion, taking around 5 seconds to complete a single step. Quickly engineers realized that in order to walk up slopes, the robot would need to travel faster. The model has 6 degrees of freedom: 1 in each groin, 1 in each knee and 1 in each ankle.
  17. Bonus: P-Series

    The P-series is a chronological progression of prototype humanoid robots as developed by Honda. The research conducted allowed the eventual creation of ASIMO.
  18. Links: Top Ten Science Fiction Films, Top Ten Futurama Episodes,

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