Humanoid robots are positioned by their developers as devices that will coexist with humans in the future, help them in everyday life and replace human specialists in dangerous situations. Some of them are human-sized robots like Atlas and Digit from Agility Robotics from Boston Dynamics, while others are small robots like the Pepper robot.
Now, a Chinese AI and humanoid robotics company, UBTECH Robotics, has unveiled the latest version of its groundbreaking two-legged humanoid robot, Walker X, at the 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. The robot can interact with people, pick up objects and avoid obstacles in a lively and flexible manner. It is lighter and more energy efficient than previous generation robots.
The Walker X robot is designed like the human body, with arms, legs and a head driven by 41 high-torque servo motor joints. The robot has hands complete with fingers that allow it to perform tasks with fine motor skills. It can grab objects, squeeze them together, and even perform difficult actions for robots, such as opening the bottle cap. The robot can hold 3 kg of payload per hand.
Walker X is able to autonomously navigate familiar and new locations using the standard Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM) algorithm for this task. When moving, the robot uses depth cameras to avoid collisions with people and objects. The human-like Giat travels at a top speed of 3 km / h (1.8 mph). It can also adapt to different types of terrain, such as grass, carpet, tile, and more.
In addition, the engineers made it extremely stable by equipping it with a dynamic balancing system so that even a hit with a ball won’t make it fall. The company also showed how the robot balances and stays on its feet while pushing. The height and weight of the device are unknown.
The robot can communicate with humans in two ways. First, it has a speech recognition and speech synthesis system. And secondly, a large screen is installed in the head at eye level, which imitates the facial expressions of the eyes – the robot can express 28 types of emotions in total. Also in the event that there are light indicators that are activated during certain interactions.
In the video, the developers demonstrated several features of the Walker X. For example, he can climb stairs and inclines and knows how to adapt in real time if the angle of inclination changes.
With a significant improvement in physical performance, autonomous intelligence and human-robot interaction, Walker X has come one step closer to becoming the gold standard in humanoid robotics.