The UCLA Samueli School of Engineering engineers has developed a humanoid robot named ARTEMIS with unique technology.
The full-sized robot is designed as a general-purpose humanoid robot focusing on bipedal locomotion over uneven terrain. It will travel to Bordeaux, France, in July 2023 to compete in the soccer category of the 2023 RoboCup, an international scientific meeting where robots demonstrate capabilities across various categories.
ARTEMIS can walk on rough and unstable surfaces, as well as run and jump. It is designed to remain stable even when strongly shoved or otherwise disturbed. The robot’s actuators were custom-designed to behave like biological muscles, which makes it flexible and force-controlled, as opposed to rigid and position-controlled actuators that most robots have. Its electrically-driven actuators make less noise and operate more efficiently than robots with hydraulic actuators, and they are cleaner, too, as hydraulic systems are known for leaking fluids.
ARTEMIS has custom-designed force sensors on each foot, which help it keep balance as it moves. It also has an orientation unit and cameras in its head to help it perceive its surroundings.
During tests in the lab, ARTEMIS has been clocked walking 2.1 meters per second, which makes it the world’s fastest walking humanoid robot, according to the researchers. ARTEMIS is also believed to be the first humanoid robot designed in an academic setting capable of running and only the third overall.
Student researchers have been testing the robot on regular walks around the UCLA campus to prepare for the RoboCup. In the coming weeks, they will fully test the robot’s running and soccer-playing skills at the UCLA Intramural Field. In addition, the researchers will evaluate how well it can traverse uneven terrain and stairs, its capacity for falling and getting back up, and its ability to carry objects.
“This is a first-of-its-kind robot,” Dennis Hong, a UCLA professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the director of RoMeLa, said.
RoMeLa has been making humanoid robots for over two decades, and its earlier robots have won the RoboCup competition five times. The engineers are hoping that ARTEMIS will bring home trophy number six.
“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,” Hong added.
RoMeLa’s Twitter account regularly shares information about the robot’s testing results and posts the routes for its campus walks, allowing Bruins to see ARTEMIS in action and chat with researchers.