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Filament 'muscle' drives skeleton robot

A system of robotic motion uses bundles of pneumatic tubes as muscles that control a skeleton's movements.

A team of researchers in Japan has created a system of robotic motion that can move a humanoid skeleton. This system, designed by a team at the Suzumori Endo Lab at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, allows robots with the same geometry as a human, and could result in more realistic humanoid robots.

The system actually uses bundles of many small fibre tubes. These are actuated pneumatically, that is, air or gas is pumped through them to tauten and slacken the "muscles" and allow the skeleton to which they are attached walk, bite and perform other movements. The problem, of course, is that it needs to be tethered to the air pressure source to do so. The project is ongoing, which is great, because we didn't know how badly the world needed friendly robotic skeletons until we saw this video.