Japan has added another soldier to its humanoid robot army following last year's fembot supermodel. The HRP-4 is the latest edition in the state-backed humanoid project. It's leaner, lighter, and can balance itself with yogic ease.
Developed by bridge builder Kawada Industries and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the HRP-4 can stand on one leg, track faces and objects, and respond to voice commands.
HRP-4 sports a RoboCop look, but it's more C-3PO. Designed under the theme of a "slim athlete," it weighs a mere 86 pounds including battery. That's about 9 pounds less than its sister bot HRP-4C, which made waves last year modeling a dress at a bridal fashion show in Osaka, as well as Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo.
HRP-4 stands nearly 5 feet tall and has 34 moving joints, with seven in each arm, as well as fingers than can move more precisely than earlier HRP models. Each arm has a load capacity of about 1 pound.
All joint motors are less than 80 watts for design safety. A compact notebook computer can be installed in HRP-4's back to increase onboard data processing.
Kawada and AIST have previously shown off how HRP bots can be useful around the house, wielding power tools and pouring drinks. The HRP-2 Promet has been shown walking on uneven terrain and even helping install wall paneling.
The video below shows HRP-4 introducing itself, showing off some moves and tracking a man's face (it stands on one leg at around 4:25). … Read more