This robot system mimicked the biological structures in humans using elastic cables and cheap drill motors as muscles. It is intriguing to watch the complexity that even a simple arm lift requires. This does show inefficient this type of set up is, but we still think it is cool. We don’t understand the desire to use cheap drill motors though. Cost aside, the control problem they mention seems like it could be resolved with a little better motor setup.
Standard humanoid robots mimic the human form but the mechanisms used in such robots are very different from those in humans, and the characteristics of the robot reflect this. This places severe limitations on the kinds of interactions such robots can engage in, on the knowledge they can aquire of their environment, and therefore on the nature of their cognitive engagement with the environment. However a new kind of robot is just beginning to emerge – the anthropomimetic robot. Instead of just copying the appearance of a human, it copies the inner structures and mechanisms – bones, joints, musles, and tendons, and thus has the potential for human-like action and interaction in the world.
ECCE, developed within the EU’s 7th Framework Programme, is the first robot that follows the anthropomimetic design principles very closely. The project has three major goals: (1) to design and build a robot using anthropomimetic principles, (2) to characterise its dynamics and control it, (3) to exploit its human-like characteristics to produce some human-like cognitive features.
The goals of this project is to build the first truly anthropomimetic robot; to find out how to control it; and finally, to investigate its human-like cognitive features.