Meet Athlete, a robot with a pair of prosthetic blades and fourteen artificial, pneumatic-powered muscles.
IEEE Spectrum’s Erico Guizzo first wrote about this brilliant bipedal humanoid that may one day outrun us all. The bot is the pet project of Japanese researcher Ryuma Niiyama, who is currently working on his post-doctorate at MIT. According to Guizzo, each leg has seven sets of artificial muscles, each with one to six pneumatic actuators that correspond to muscles in the human body such as the gluteus maximus, adductor and hamstring. Currently, Niiyama and his team are trying to get Athlete to run farther than three steps (at 1.2 meters/sec) before collapsing, which is its current best effort.
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