Maxon Drives Help Humanoid Robot Stand On Its Own Legs


This is what “Roboy” could look like in March 2013.

A project team consisting of experts from science and industry, including the Swiss drive specialist maxon motor, is developing the new humanoid robot by the name of “Roboy”. On 9 March 2013, Roboy will be presented to the public at the “Robots on Tour” international robotics fair that will take place in Zürich, Switzerland, as part of the 25th anniversary of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab) of the University of Zurich. Maxon motor is supplying numerous DC and EC motors, as well as sensors that enable Roboy to make high-precision movements. “High-precision electric motors are the artificial muscles of a robot. Our drives are small, dynamic and efficient – just what robotics need,” says Eugen Elmiger, CEO of maxon motor. Drive systems from Obwalden already powered the movements of the “ECCE Robot”. “For us, creative and ambitious projects such as Roboy are always an incentive to challenge ourselves and to try new things,” Elmiger adds.

The project team has been busy implementing the latest knowhow in the field of robotics to create a new humanoid robot since June 2012. Roboy will be 1.30 m tall, with an anatomy and motion characteristics that mimic that of humans. With Roboy, the project team wants to show what topics are currently being researched in the field of robotics and which technologies are ready for series production.

Roboy is a further development of the technology used in the famous “ECCE Robot”. Both robots, “ECCE Robot” and “Roboy”, are equipped with tendon-controlled drive technology, which gives them the ability to perform humanoid movements and to react to their environment. “Because robots physically move within their environment, completely new types of interaction between humans and machines result, far beyond what is possible with customary information technology such as laptops or smartphones,” says Prof. Rolf Pfeifer, initiator of the project. “The development of Roboy can be shaped and supported by everybody,” he adds.

In addition to the scientists of the AI Lab, international research groups from Germany and Japan are participating in the project. Furthermore, it has the support of partner companies that are providing cutting-edge Swiss high-tech expertise, such as maxon.

August 28, 2012 – 4:21 am


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Yvonne Klöpping