What’s so special about ARTEMIS?
The name of this cutting-edge humanoid robot ARTEMIS stands for Advanced Robotic Technology for Enhanced Mobility and Improved Stability. It was developed by The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Samueli School of Engineering.
If you ask researchers, they will tell you that the name was actually inspired by the Greek goddess of the hunt, wild animals, chastity and childbirth, and that’s why they refer to ARTEMIS as “she.”
The robot is 85 pounds and 4 feet, 8 inches tall. Her true potential will be presented at RoboCup in July in Bordeaux, France, when all of her skills will be put into practice during a soccer match. That’s why researchers sometimes joke that ARTEMIS could also stand for “A Robot That Exceeds Messi In Soccer.”
For those of you who weren’t familiar with RoboCup so far, it’s an international scientific conference where robots exhibit their abilities in various categories.
The main innovation lies in its excellent balance while walking on uneven terrain and its ability to run — getting both feet of the ground while in motion. This is a first-of-its-kind robot.
Dennis Hong, a UCLA mechanical and aerospace engineering professor and director of RoMeLa
Her custom-designed muscles are built to behave like biological muscles, by using springy, force-controlled actuators, i.e. machines that generate motion from energy.
In other words, her actuators are electrically driven rather than hydraulically controlled, which employs variations in fluid pressure to cause movement. As a result, it makes less noise and operates more efficiently than robots with hydraulic actuators. Above that, it’s cleaner, because hydraulic systems are notorious for leaking fluids.
This first-of-its-kind technology is the main thing that differs it from the other two existing types of humanoid robots. Thanks to this innovation, ARTEMIS is the fastest robot in the world that can walk up to 2.1 meters per second.
Another thing that doesn’t cease to amaze is the fact that it was built in an academic setting, as opposed to other humanoid robots, by researchers at the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at UCLA, or RoMeLa. Taoyuanmin Zhu and Min Sung Ahn, both of whom recently earned doctorates in mechanical engineering at UCLA, developed ARTEMIS’ hardware and software systems, respectively.
What will ARTEMIS be used for?
ARTEMIS was built as a general purpose robot, meaning that it can automate a variety of applications. So far, these robots were mostly used as industrial robots, in an assembly line or a warehouse.
But, considering the groundbreaking advancements with ARTEMIS, she’s expected to be applied in more commercial scenarios. It’s able to respond and adapt to what it senses, thanks to its system of sensors and actuators, so its application is really wide.
As you can see from the video, she can jump, sprint, and walk on unstable surfaces. Even when researchers tried to knock her down or disturb her otherwise, she managed to keep his balance and remain in a standing position.
While preparing her for RoboCup, researchers are now testing her ability to traverse uneven terrain and stairs, her capacity for falling and getting back up, and her ability to carry objects.
We’re very excited to take ARTEMIS out for field testing here at UCLA and we see this as an opportunity to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics to a much wider audience.
Dennis Hong, in a press release
Robotics lab, that is already a 5-time RoboCup champ, claims that ARTEMIS is the most advanced humanoid robot until now, so they expect to raise the bar even higher on this year’s RoboCup.
ARTEMIS was created thanks to 232 contributors, who donated around $118,000 to a crowdfunding campaign UCLA Spark. Additional support came from an Office of Naval Research grant.