What is an anthropomorphic robot and why is their popularity growing?

How often have you heard the phrase"Anthropomorphic robot"? I think yes, since in recent years more and more robots are trying to make it exactly anthropomorphic. One of the most recent examples can be considered a robot Fedor, who was sent to the ISS some time ago and about which a lot was said, including on our website. Let's see why lately the mention of such robots is becoming more common, and most importantly, why developers are trying to create just them.

Such a robot can be very useful in everyday life.


  • 1 What is an anthropomorphic robot
  • 2 How robots are created
  • 3 Why do we need humanoid robots
  • 4 History of Robotics

What is an anthropomorphic robot

First of all, let's deal with the conceptanthropomorphic robot. The word “anthropomorphic” means nothing more than a humanoid or humanoid. Based on this, the following definition can be derived:

Anthropomorphic robot - a robot that has a structure similar to a human and similar features

It’s worth a little dip in history and rememberhow science fiction imagined robots before scientists and engineers could begin the corresponding experiments to create them. Science fiction writers often do not come up with something new, but simply propose as options for the future that which already exists, but is improved. That is why, when invented automated human assistants, they were like him.

Humanoid robot from Toyota. Looks friendly.

When technology allowed to startresearch in the field of robotics, scientists proposed options for precisely humanoid robots. That's just to make them was quite difficult, but they had one significant plus. Since they looked like a man, they had to have them. That is, on the one hand they didn’t scare a person, but on the other, they showed the steepness of scientists who “created a new person”.

I do not know what a robot is, but when I see it, I will understand that it is a robot. - Joseph Engelberg. American scientist and engineer.

Although sometimes busting comes out with similarity. An example of such an enumeration is the robot that Hiroshi Ishigura created and successfully uses. Back in 2009, he created his complete copy, which not only looks like him, but is also able to repeat his movements. The professor, whom the British have honored with a place in the top ten geniuses living today, uses it to communicate with his students and other people when he cannot personally attend a lecture or meeting.

The professor himself claims that people quicklyadapt to this state of affairs and take communication with android for communication with the real Ishigura. This was made possible thanks to the elaborate facial expressions of his brainchild. It is facial expressions that can, all other things being equal, make it clear to a person that in front of him is not a soulless machine, but a living person. Well, or make him think so.

Can you say without hesitation which of them is Ishigura and who is his robotic copy? Can we discuss this in our Telegram chat?

The problem is that the professor Ishigura’s android is taken for the present also because he is able to speak normally, as in fact he simply broadcasts the speech of a living person.

Modern robots can already build dialogs, butuntil they do it very well. They either slow down a little, or build phrases that you can’t hear from a living person. If, at the same time, they equip such an autonomous robot with a completely human appearance, in the manner of the androids of Ishigura, they will not attract, but rather repel. Many relevant studies have even been conducted on this subject. They all came to the conclusion that people are not yet ready for a too realistic robot, since they do not know what to expect from it. When dealing with this, they begin to become noticeably nervous and feel uncomfortable.

How are robots created

While such robots that can simulatepeople are created by and large just for fun. You can talk with them, use them as avatars, or put them at the reception, as is done in a Japanese hotel, whose name is translated into Russian as “Strange Hotel”. Not so long ago, robots acting as intimate toys were even presented. In general, while this is more technology for the sake of technology. Later they will be useful, but for now it is all created for fun and research for.

Unassembled, an adult robot doesn’t look cool at all ...

Much more benefit from robots thatoften have bizarre forms, but are designed to perform specific tasks. For example, loaders, robots for painting cars, underwater drones and the like. All of them are imprisoned for performing, as a rule, one specific task, but they do it very well. Moreover, they do not require complex balancing systems, like their anthropomorphic colleagues, and it is much easier to equip them with batteries.

The main thing is that after the appearance of robots, people do not disappear, like the Mayan civilization. By the way, why did they disappear?

Examples of more versatile robots canServe the creations of specialists from Boston Dynamics. Their robots can work wonders. Many of them still need to be finalized and refined, but they look very cool on demo videos. What are the famous robot parker and robot dog? Although the latter, with all its advantages and apparent benefits to the army, was never adopted due to its low autonomy and high noise level. However, it is precisely such robots that can do much more good when they are finalized.

Such robots are made by Boston Dynamics specialists.

Why do we need humanoid robots?

Nevertheless, recently robotics has again turned its gaze towards anthropomorphic robots.

Here a slight perplexity arises. On the one hand, scientists are not fools (strange, huh?) And, if they do this, then this makes sense. On the other hand, we understand that our body is perfect only in terms of simple existence. For work, it is not very suitable. It's not even about bone weakness or pain threshold limitations. I’m rather talking about features that will not allow, for example, to quickly shift large metal sheets from place to place, as this is done by a manipulator arm. There are many examples, but you get the point.

An explanation of such a love for humanityrobots, in addition to the desire to create their own kind, there can only be one. The humanoid robot will lose in most specific tasks, but will be the most universal. In other words, he will be able to replace the person in what he had done before. That is, he will not be good in one particular case, but he can be taught to do everything that a person does. He will be able to replace the person behind the machine, after which the network instead of him is behind the wheel of a car, and it’s just easy to move around in an urban environment without wheels and other manipulators. And all this will be one robot, not three different ones.

But this is also a robot. Just not anthropomorphic.

There are certain advantages to this, but for now, createscientists did not succeed in such robots, and we can only wait until this becomes possible. And given the speed of technology development, I don’t think it will take too long.

Another example of the use of humanoidrobots can be work in hard to reach places. They will be able to repeat the movements of the operator sitting in a safe place. It can also come in handy in space. To work in an airless space, it will not be necessary to send a person in a spacesuit for a limited time, spending hours preparing for the exit and returning back, you can release the robot. In this case, for the operator to rest, you just need to stop the work, and after that again take your place and continue working. In theory, you can control such an avatar even from Earth.

FEDOR robot in action. True, this is not the most important thing.

By the way, one example of such robots isFEDOR recently talked about from every iron. We will not go into its details now and look for the pros and cons. This is just an example of where such a robot can come in handy and, most likely, work in this direction will be activated even more, involving all new companies and research institutes.

History of Robotics

The history of robotics is like nothing elsedemonstrates the path of trial and error. It turns out that at first we wanted to make the robot look like ourselves, then we realized that we needed to make a machine devoid of our shortcomings. Let it be only for one task, but it will be very good to do it. Now we realized that both types of robots have the right to life.

At the same time, they are not competitors to each other. They can not only exist together, but also help each other. For example, a robot loader will bring paint from a warehouse, a humanoid robot that replaces a person by a night shift, pours it into a robot painter and presses the remote control button with his mechanical finger. In the morning, a person will return to the same remote control, and put his follower on charge.

Here, teach the robots too much, and they will even start playing computer games for you.

You rightly ask what this is intermediate link in the form of a humanoid robot? This is necessary so that robots help, not replace us. The above example describes only one of the many situations in which robots will control robots, but leave room for humans. You cannot trust them too much. No matter how romantic such a future is, it is impossible to shift all our affairs to robots, otherwise we will get an anti-utopia in real life.