Kenshiro Musculoskeletal Humanoid Robot Is the First of Its Kind
A humanoid robot called Kenshiro was recently unveiled by a group of engineers from Tokyo University’s JSK Lab. In comparison with other humanoids, Kenshiro can be said to be the most representative to human’s musculoskeletal anatomy. It was showcased at the annual humanoid event earlier this month.
Mimicking a figure of a 12 years old Japanese boy, Kenshiro packs quite a weight on itself. With height no more than 160cm, 50kg of weight seems to be a bit much but that’s the best the team could do. They admitted that among the longest and most exhaustive steps on its development was reducing its overall weight without really affecting its movement. The video below shows partial testing of Kenshiro.
The team had to actually go through several other prototypes before they can reach a nearly perfect humanoid like Kenshiro today. The first and unquestionably the simplest prototype was Kenta which was showcased in 2001. It was then followed with Kotaro, Kojiro and Kenzoh each of which needed approximately 2-3 years of development.
For your reference, human body comprises of about 650 muscles, whereas Kenshiro is made with 160 artificial muscles. Most of them are concentrated in the torso even though the shoulder parts are also dense with muscles. As for the bones, the engineers finally agreed to make use of aluminum instead of fragile plastic to construct it.
Furthermore, to better replicate our movement, the knee joints are even made with robotic ligaments as well as metallic palatal bone. While it allows Kenshiro to bend and turn the arms and legs, the way it moves is still very much awkward. What you guys say about it?