Hubo II has been developed by Professor Jun Ho Oh and his colleagues at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s Humanoid Robot Research Center, aka Hubo Lab. The original Hubo , built in 2004, was one of the first advanced full-body humanoid robots developed outside Japan. Hubo II is lighter and faster than its older brother, weighing 45 kilograms, or a third less, and capable of walking two times faster.
A major improvement over early humanoid designs is Hubo II’s gait. Most humanoid robots walk with their knees bent, which is dynamically more stable but not natural compared to human walking. Hubo II performs straight leg walking. It consumes less energy and allows for faster walking. The robot has more than 40 motors and dozens of sensors, cameras, and controllers. It carries a lithium polymer battery with a 480 watt-hour capacity, which keeps the robot running up 2 hours with movement and up to 7 hours without movement.
Another improvement is the hand design. It weighs only 380 grams and has five motors and a torque sensor. It can handle any object that fits on its palm, and its wrist can rotate in a humanlike way. In humanoid robot projects, the main challenge is not just cramming all the hardware into a tight space, but also making sure everything works together. Cables can unexpectedly restrict joint movements; power and control boards interfere with each other; modules end up too heavy and create instability. Professor Oh wants to make a robust design to avoid such catastrophic failures. He believes Hubo II is a big step in that direction.
The mPower 1000 is a powered arm brace that fits like a sleeve on a person’s arm. The arm brace has myoelectric sensors that sit on the skin’s surface and detect even a very faint muscle signal. When a person with a weak or partially paralyzed arm tries to move their arm and a muscle signal fires, the motor in the mPower 1000 engages to assist in completing the desired movement. In helping achieve desired movement, the device can be worn as a functional aid, used during exercise to maintain gains or applied during rehabilitation to facilitate Repetitive Task Practice that re-teaches arm movement to the brain.
The mPower 1000 is based on technology developed at MIT, and is lightweight and portable. It has on-board controls for easy use and built-in Bluetooth capability for communication with external applications and systems. The mPower 1000 is for use in the home and in clinical settings. It is intended to increase arm movement for individuals affected by brain injury such as stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy (CP), muscular dystrophy (MD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).