Following in the footsteps of many robots we've seen who perform awesome but random feats, Japanese electronics company Murata has revealed an update of their Little Seiko humanoid robot for 2010. Murata Girl, as she is known, is 50 centimeters tall, weighs six kilograms and can unicycle backwards and forwards.
Whereas in her previous iteration, she could only ride across a straight balance beam, she is now capable of navigating an S-curve as thin as 2.5 centimeters (only one centimeter wider than the tire of her unicycle)
The secret is a balancing mechanism that calculates the degree she needs to turn at to safely maneuver around the curves. She also makes use of a perhaps more rudimentary, but nonetheless effective, balancing mechanism and holds her arms stretched out to her sides, Nastia Liukin-style. Murata Girl is battery-powered, outfitted with a camera, and controllable via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Also, because we know you were wondering, she's a Virgo and her favorite pastime is (naturally) "practicing riding her unicycle at the park."
Watch her daintily and perfectly execute an S-curve below:
Sigh, seriously Japan, can you put your R&D into more useful robotic tech instead these circus performances?
mrwright85 - You have no idea... this technology is paving the way for the future of robotics. Anyone who doesn't see this as a great step in technology, really doesn't need to be reading PopSci. Stick with Truckin' or Tattoo magazine.
Jye75 - What technology has been advanced with this? As someone that has personally worked with autonomous Segways, I see this as nothing more than a parlor trick. What practical application does this have? The article about the new robotic sentries at the NNSS is impressive, this is not.
mrwright85, there are places for advancements and places for applications of technology. Not all applications of technology are advancements, but all advancements do bring new applications. These scientists are showing the applications of advancements, opening our imagination to new possibilities.
Nikola Tesla used to demonstrate advancements in electricity, while also demonstrating applications in electricity. Once the fundamentals of a new advancement are established it is for our imaginations to bring out the possibilities (applications).
"Oh, look at that cute little Japanese unicycling robot! She's so cu-" KABOOM!!!!