The Chinese company UBTECH Robotics has presented a humanoid robot Walker X. It can avoid obstacles, pick up objects and communicate with people with a voice, as well as light indicators. A video with a presentation of the robot was published on the company's YouTube channel.
Humanoid robots are positioned by their developers as devices that in the future will coexist with people, helping them in everyday life, and replacing human specialists in dangerous conditions. Basically, they can be divided into two classes: full-size robots, the size of humans, such as Atlas and Digit, and small ones with much shorter stature, such as NAO from Softbank and Alpha from UBTECH Robotics. In addition to the very small commercial Alpha, the company's engineers have been developing the intermediate-sized Walker robot for several years and have now presented its new version of the Walker X.
The company does not disclose the exact size of the prototype, but it is known that the growth of the previous version was 140 centimeters, and the new one, judging by the video, is the same as that of a child aged several years and a sitting adult. The Walker X is designed according to the human body, with arms, legs and head driven by 41 servomotors. The hands are also human and consist of five fingers. The robot can squeeze them, grab objects and even perform actions that are quite difficult for robots, for example, unscrew the bottle cap. The maximum mass of objects that the robot can hold in its hands is 2.7 kilograms.
The robot can communicate with humans in two ways. First, it has a speech recognition and synthesis system for voice communication. And secondly, a large screen is installed in the head at eye level, imitating the facial expressions of the eyes - in total, the robot has 28 types of emotions. Also on the case there are light indicators that are activated during certain interactions.
Walker X is able to autonomously navigate in familiar and new places, using the standard algorithm for this task of simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). For navigation, the robot uses depth cameras located in the head, chest and abdomen. With their help, the robot can detect obstacles and avoid them, as well as move away from people and other moving objects when they come too close. The maximum walking speed is three kilometers per hour.
The developers have demonstrated in the video several features of the robot. For example, he is able to climb stairs and inclines, and he knows how to adjust if the angle of inclination changes in real time. The company also showed how the robot balances and keeps itself on its feet when pushed.
Domestic humanoid robots do not always exactly repeat the structure of the human body and, moreover, do not always walk on the floor. Toyota has been experimenting with a robot that drives on the ceiling for several years, and recently taught it to distinguish transparent objects and take selfies.