Video: Swimming Robot Mimics Humans

The half-scale swumanoid swimming robot incorporates 20 waterproof motors that are controlled by a computer to mimic the actions of human swimmers.   (Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology)
The half-scale swumanoid swimming robot incorporates 20 waterproof motors that are controlled by a computer to mimic the actions of human swimmers.
(Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A little "robotic" in its movements
Ann R. Thryft   6/27/2012 1:04:05 PM
I agree, the robot is not yet perfectly human in all its movements. But it's awfully close, and compared to previous efforts, this one's elegant and fluid. The main achievement isn't just the robot that demonstrates the SWUM model, but that model itself, to emulate all of the human motor movements accurately, get the "map" done, so they can then be refined even more. But first you've got to have the entire, accurate map. Once you have that accurate map, you can also use it plus the analysis to map human swimmers' individual movements and analyze them, presumably leading to greater efficiency.

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Re: A little "robotic" in its movements
Dozer789   6/27/2012 8:58:43 AM
You are right about it being choppy, it looks almost like the hand gets stuck under the body, i hope they can get these robots to be able to swim like humans.

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Swimming Robots???
gsmith120   6/27/2012 8:02:16 AM
Great story Ann!!  That is so interesting and love the video.   If this robot has the ability to pick up things this would be great for underwater rescues. It would be nice to see some of the other robot teams work together to combine their specialty features into one robot.  

 Do you know what's the teams next step for this robot?

Beth Stackpole
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A little "robotic" in its movements
Beth Stackpole   6/27/2012 8:00:46 AM
The robot definitely mimics human form, but it still appears choppy in its movements--no where near as fluid as a human swimmer and not even remotely comparable to a competitive one. That said, I get the idea of applying the robot to aid in physical therapy exploration, but don't necessarily see how it would aid in helping competitive swimmers.

All of that said, between this and your earlier post this week on marine-inspired robots, there's definitely quite a lot of innovation and progress going on in this field. Thanks for sharing.

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