What are humanoid robots? Design News editors have written several articles on this subject, but there's more than one kind. Most of them sort into two general categories.
The first are obviously mechanical objects shaped like people, such as the contestants in DARPA's Robotics Challenge, or the earlier Terminator models before SkyNet wised up and made them look like Ahnald. That's what we're showing this time.
The other major type of humanoid robots are what some people call androids: eerily, scarily human-looking, that don't move around much. They've got artificial skin and hair, and more recently, facial features that smile, laugh, and frown, plus a voice of some kind. We'll look at those next time.
Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 28 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, and robotics. In the past, she's also written about machine vision and all kinds of communications.