Swumanoid: a swimming humanoid robot

If you just happen to find yourself at the Fifth International Symposium on Aero Aqua Bio-Mechanisms this August in Taipei, you might get a chance to see this half sized swimming humanoid. Swumanoid was created by researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology by doing a 3d scan of a human, then simplifying the shapes and breaking them up to 3d printable parts. Waterproof motors are needed… since it is a swimming bot. The articulation is pretty incredible, the Sumanoid can do the crawl, like you see in the video below as well as breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, and even doggy paddle.


  1. giacomo says:

    Interesting. The source article has a broken source link (sourception). The correct link is: http://www.mech.titech.ac.jp/~dycon2/motomu/index2.html

    That aside, this thing is RIGHT in the dark depths of the uncanny valley. The movements are just slightly off, and DOESN’T HE NEED TO COME UP FOR AIR?!?

  2. Hirudinea says:

    I hear the hardest part of the build was shaving the robot’s entire body! Anyway what exactly is the point of this, if you want to build a swimming robot why not simulate a fish? It’s like trying to build a bipedal robot modelled on a chimp, close but no cigar.

  3. turpinj says:

    The engineer in me thinks that this is awesome while the swimmer in me think that this is terrible form. The hands should never cross over to the other side. :)

  4. OK… Am I the only one that thinks this robot can’t swim very well? The video was also horrendus, why does this thing make so much noise?

  5. Pun says:

    I don’t get it. Humans are terrible swimmers compared to anything even slightly well-suited for that purpose. Making human robots for walking and fish robots for swimming both sound like great ideas. But human robots for swimming? Seems a little backwards.

  6. mechsman says:

    It’s a bit creepy watching it, very human like motion. I would view this as another step on the road to creating a robot that is capable of all the forms of locomotion that a human is capable of. Right now we have robots that can swim, walk, run like a cheetah, climb etc etc, BUT none that can switch between any/all of these modes at a moments notice. That’s the beauty of the human body, it may not be optimised for any given situation but adaptability means it can normally get the job done one way or another. I wonder if the latest Asimo could be taught to swim, as that would then be getting pretty close to a human in functionality terms. Waterproofing it could be a nightmare though!

  7. pRoFlT says:

    if i made a human like robot that could swim. I would put a jet engine in the ass and make it swim under and on top of water like a submarine!!

  8. natellia campbell says:

    this is the new era. now its time to teach the swimming robot how to save lives of drowning people at pools and beaches, etc. Post them up everywhere to standby and be alert. This is the coming future :)

  9. toto2011123 says:

    There’s nothing new: when I was a kid I had a human shaped toy with an elastic engine which could crawl in my bath.

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