Modern humanoid robots are able to run, somersault and even dance – now comes a robot that walks like a senior citizen. It leans on objects in its environment for support to help it move around and complete tasks.Newscientist published an article last week about HRP-2, a robot unveiled this month during the Humanoids2010 conference in Nashville. Sébastien Lengagne of Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, along with a team of french and japanese scientists, developed a program that allows the HRP-2 to use objects in his environment to help his movements, rather than simply considering them as obstacles.
HRP-2, you see, takes obstacles and makes them into tools; uses them to its advantage. Take this video example. In it, HRP-2 uses a table to assist with a sitting down motion. It also kicks a ball, spelling the eventual doom of pro footballers the world over – see for yourself in the video.