Robotis Unveils RX the Running Robot

Posted 20 Feb 2006 at 05:13 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

The South Korean company Robotis unveiled RX, a humanoid robot which can run. The Robotis company is, of course, the same company that makes the cool modular Bioloid robot-making kit that we said would make a great christmas gift in 2005! Subsidized by the Korean government to the tune of around 1 million dollars, RX is the third robot that can run after Sony's Qrio and Honda's Asimo. The 2 foot tall RX has 25 joints, can run about 1/2 a mile per hour, and can even jump. What's really cool about RX, though, is that it can be reconfigured by its modular parts which made Robotis kits famous.

Price, posted 20 Feb 2006 at 09:52 UTC by JamesBruton » (Master)

I'd be interested to know how much this will cost since QRIO was never available for sale but would have been 'as much as a BMW' I once saw quoted... I'd also like to see how modular it is, some more pics of it in bits/made into a dog would be interesting.

It's a good idea to use a PDA as the controller because various O/S's - Pocket PC / Linux that will probably run on it so it could make the ultimate hackable / reprogrammable robot product.

mechanical compliance.., posted 21 Feb 2006 at 14:40 UTC by » (Journeyer)

I often wonder just how much compliance the joints in robots like these are designed to have. Saving an expensive mechanical linkage from damage is one thing, but until truly adaptable compliance that does not sacrifice accuracy or longevity can be achieved - this problem, along with that of scalability, will be hugely limiting to the advances that robots like these can make. Honda, Sony and others have shown that multi-millions can only go so far to solve this problem - I can only guess at how much it costs to repair ASIMO when it falls down the stairs (though I bet they'll never release that mpeg.. ha)

Rigidity is not a desirable characteristic for locomotion - you see it nowhere in nature, and for good reason. Robots that rely on it for repeatable accuracy will always be restricted by the very same thing that makes them excellent at what they do - if they are to 'grow up' - moving out of showcase project labs and commercial sectors, then this is one area that has to be addressed - conventional electromechanics seems unlikely to come up with an answer to this very soon. Pneumatics are great.. but generating the air supply, and controlling it's flow - is not. Hydraulics ? - no, same problem - plus the actuators are just as rigid as before..

Until something truly analogous to muscles is developed, that does not require a bulky or impractical power source - then robots will not be doing a decent run, even *after* they can walk really well - a technological brick wall exists down this path that these kind of robots are on - and they are slowly, rigidly and expensively.. aproaching it. Perhaps Sony have already realised this ?

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