Friday, June 24, 2011

The real life C-3PO: World's most advanced robot has muscles, tendons... and ability to correct its own mistakes - 24th June 2011

It looks like a stripped-down version of Star Wars character C-3PO.

But this robot is science fact not fiction - and one of the most advanced in the world.

Ecci, as it has been named, is the first ever robot to have 'muscles' and 'tendons', as well as the 'bones' they help move. All made of a specially developed plastic.

And most advanced of all, it also has a brain with the ability to correct its mistakes - a trait previously only seen in humans.

Developed by a team of scientists at the University of Zurich, Ecci, is short for Eccerobot. Ecce in Latin means Lo or Behold.

The robot uses a series of electric motors to move the joints the tendons are connected to.

And a computer built into the brain of Ecci allows him to learn from his mistakes.

If, for example, a movement is causing him to stumble or drop something – the information is studied and analysed to avoid making the same mistake next time.

The creation also has the same vision capacity of humans too, despite only having one cyclops style eye.

The scientists now hope their creation will usher in a whole new generation for robots - and could aid development of artificial limbs.

Rolf Pfeifer, who is director of the laboratory for artificial intelligence at the University said 'It opens up a lot of possibilities but in particular it will help us to understand better how the human moving apparatus works – a complicated task. Read More