Monday, February 18, 2013

An alternative to hobby servos?

The University of Tokyo is going at creating animatronic muscles in an entirely different, yet simple to implement way.  They basically use a block and tackle arrangement to multiply the torque of a coreless 
motor instead of gears.

A robot, activated with this approach reminds me of nothing so much as an antique sailing ship.

I am not much impressed with their robot's walking, but other movements are quite natural.

It apparently achieves a much better kw/kg ratio than more conventional robots.


  1. The look of their robot is really cool. I had seen the movements of this system, and it is pretty good, it looks very human! Too bad we don't see in the film any accuracy movements.
    I also wonder how the muscle goes back to it's original position, I only guess it needs two motors and mechanisms for a back and forth movement.

  2. I suspect that they are using other "muscles" to stretch the ones that were retracted, rather like what we do with organic muscles. When you note how many muscles they are using compared to servos in the Inmoov robot, one might expect that this is the strategy they are pursuing.