This Robotic Swimming Humanoid Is No Match For Phelps

By Andrew Liszewski on at

If Tokyo Tech's swimming android robot—awkwardly dubbed the Swumanoid—is any indication, our Olympic athletes don't have to worry about any cybernetic competition for at least a few more years. But for the time being, this robot is actually designed to help improve a human swimmer's performance and gear.

Created using a 3D scanner to measure and digitise the body and motions of a competitive swimmer, the Swumanoid was built at half-scale to give researchers a way to measure the propulsive force of an athlete's stroke. The complex motions of a human's arm are replicated in the robot using 20 waterproof motors, but even though it seemingly has a mechanical advantage, in its current form the bot is actually about three times slower than the 100-metre freestyle world record time. But it's already learned the butterfly and backstroke, and can probably do a mean cannonball. [DigInfo TV]