Like the rest of Asia, China has been working for many years on the development of humanoid robots. Their models seem similar to earlier Japanese designs, with the shuffling “bent knee” walk that Robots that Can’t Jump typically display.
Case in point:
BHR-3 From Beijing Institute of Technology
There is more detail at http://www.plasticpals.com/?p=28937
The robots are functional, and are being supplied for publicity and promotional purposes, similar to the PR provided by Japanese robots. As far as practical…well, another decade, no Robots That Jump. I’m beginning to feel we are in the robot version of Zoolander.
Here’s a link to the robot in a video:
It’s also ironic how the robots – this one, and all the other huanoids since the 1990s – are previewed with dance music. It would be more interesting if the robots were getting something from the music. People use music to sync their movements in social interaction, and “feel the beat” as a guiding forces. No other animal, except possibly Parrots, “feel a beat”. A robot that wanted to dance when there was a heavy beat in the background would be very interesting. Instead, we play the music so people feel the beat, and possibly forgive the robot’s clumsy locomotion as dance.
Here’s another video link showing (slow) dance music with clumsy robots:
It would be much cooler to see someone get the sense-motor feedback loop working, even if the robot fell down constantly, compared to these windup staged events.
In their current form, humanoid robots are doing the same function (and not all that differently) that mechanical Temple Gods performed in the Roman Empire. The public has their religion (Terminator), and then sees some toys in a temple that mimic or imply the presence of the real (Terminator) god. The fact that most posts on the Chinese robot reference Skynet, and imaginary movie thing-e, proves my point. This is not the positive role that similar “hopeful” devices have in stimulating research – it is simple affirmation of religious faith in our goddess Techna.
Let’s make one listen, jump, and fall down.