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.

15 thoughts on “Swumanoid: a swimming humanoid robot

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. It may also give valuable insights into the mechanics of human swimming etc. It might be easier to research the perfect swimming stroke with a swimmer that doesn’t tire and can do the exact same stroke over and over again.

  3. 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!

    1. I don’t know, quadruped robots seem easier to make than bipeds and there are several quadrupeds that are quite good swimmers, Polar Bears for instance. Robot Polar Bear, man, now THAT would be cool!

  4. 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 :)

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