SWUMANIOD – Swimming humanoid robot
There are many different types of humanoid robots out there but this is the first one created solely for swimming. SWUMANIOD (SWimming + hUMANOID) was created by researchers Motomu Nakashima and Chung Changhyun of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The robot was made to reproduce the motion of human swimmers while measuring water resistance.
SWUMANIOD was made by first doing a 3D scan of a real person’s body, then using 3D printed parts to make a 1/2 model. Next they added 20 water-proof motors and programmed the bot to imitate human swimming techniques such as; the breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and dog paddle. Because this robot is only 1/2 the size of a human it’s movement in water is considerably slower, but the researchers have plans to make a life size model that more accurately mimics realistic swimming.
This aquatic robot athlete was created in an attempt to better understand how human-beings move through water. Researchers usually do this by analyzing videos of swimmers, but the problem is us humans are not able to repeat specific movements exactly as we did them before. With SWUMANOID the tests can be repeated while the researchers make adjustments and no one has to worry about the robot messing up or getting tired .