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Hobby Humanoid Tackles Tough Terrain

February 6, 2014

Japanese hobby robotics Dr. Guero (aka “Dr. GIY”) has impressed us before with his robot’s humanlike gait, as well as the some more artistic work.  Now he’s posted a new video that takes it to a whole new level, in which his robot is challenged to walk on gravel, sand, and other rough terrain.

The robot also demonstrates a level of dynamic balance that would be impressive even in a person — imagine yourself on a swing bigger than you are, and not holding on!  The bot also demonstrates a resistance to external force (i.e. being whacked or hit by flying objects) that would make even Boston Dynamics proud.

Some years ago, there was a member of my local robotics club who pooh-poohed humanoid robotics as “just fancy R/C toys.”  But in the last ten years, those hobby humanoids have pushed robotics technology every year.  A robot like this one, which probably costs under $5K, is performing locomotive feats that a few years ago were the exclusive preview of research bots costing millions of dollars — and even today, this bot has very few equals in the world.

The video description says, translated (as well as I can) into English:

A test was carried out of a humanoid robot under conditions of great interference from rough ground and so on.  This time, because balancing with only the feet was difficult, arm swing is also used.  With left and right balance via ankle, knee angle, and swinging of the arms, and front-to-back balance via ankle, knee angle, and placement of both feet, control of the center of gravity was achieved.  After that, in the last scene, it’s not robot abuse… just making sure.  (smile)

Hats off to Dr. Guero and his amazing walking wonder.  I can’t wait to see what he might do next!

From → News, Opinion, Videos

  1. He is clearly using something like Herkulex or Dynamixel type servos. I couldn’t identify them from the video. Have his ‘bots entered any RoboOne competitions? Very cool.

  2. I couldn’t identify them either; they may be Kondo, which is quite popular in Japan. They’re too compact to be Dynamixels, I think.

    And yeah, Dr. Guero has won a number of RoboOne competitions in the past… I think he may be getting a little bored with that, and has chosen some harder challenges for himself lately!

  3. I found details on the robot here: ( This robot started as an off-the-shelf hobby robot, but was modified by Dr. Guero, particularly in the leg and foot design. It uses 16 Kondo KRS-2552HV servos running at 11.1 V.. It uses a 2-axis gyro for balance, and a custom control board.

    So, basically, there’s nothing especially amazing about the hardware here… the cleverness is all in the programming!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Humanoid Robot Drags a Load | Bot Scene
  2. Gargoyle KID wins Kondo Battle 14 | Bot Scene

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