Looming out of the shadows in the Humanoid Research Lab of Tokyo's Waseda University, WABIAN-RII is capable of walking and even dancing. WABIAN sways from side to side as it walks, but its builders are not discouraged by its imperfections: walking in a straight line, which humans can do without thinking, in fact requires coordinated movements of such fantastic complexity that researchers are pleased if their creations can walk at all. Indeed, researchers built the robot partly to help themselves understand the physics of locomotion. It took decades of work to bring WABIAN to its present state: its first ancestor was built in 1972. Japan. From the book Robo sapiens: Evolution of a New Species, page 36.
- © 2000 Peter Menzel, www.menzelphoto.com, Robo Sapiens
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