New Year's Resolution, START EXERCISING: 'Athlete', The Running, Jumping Robot

December 20, 2010


There are creepy pictures, and then there's the picture above. Introducing 'Athlete', the running, jumping robot. Which -- when was the last time you went for a jog again? Because now might be a good time to dust off the Umbros and cross-trainers and hit the sidewalk. Me? I hate exercise so I'm just gonna wait till the robot apocalypse begins and then hit the sidewalk. From twelve stories. Just kidding, I'll totally save you all.

The secret to Athlete is that unlike most every other android out there which uses rotational-joints driven by motors to drive its limbs, Athlete uses air-motors that mimic human muscles. And when we say mimic, we really mean mimic--right down to the muscle pairs in human legs, with roughly the same range of motion. The air motors are also proportional, rather than on-off, so they have a degree of control over the robot's legs that's very close to the way your muscles contract to swing your legs around.

Apparently clumsybot here can only take four steps before faceplanting, but what a quick four steps they are. Unfortunately, the scientists expect to have Athlete up and running(!) long distances in no time. And speaking of long distance relationships: they're hard. Guess how far apart my current lover and I live. 100-million years. It isn't easy!

Hit the jump for a video demonstration of the last thing you'll ever run from (skip to 1:20 for the action).

Athlete, the Robot, Runs Like You Do - May Soon Win the Race [fastcompany]

Thanks to sketch and Carmen, who wouldn't be caught dead competing in a potato-sack race with this jerkbot.

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