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Flippin' heck! World's first full-size motor drive humanoid robot does a somersault

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Flippin' heck! World's first full-size motor drive humanoid robot does a somersault by Tree Elven on 27/03/2024
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You're likely to be impressed, horrified, disappointed, or excited about this. Personally I'm struck by the fact that this humanoid robot is, at 50 kg, slightly lighter than I am, and about 20 cms taller - in other words, relatable to a certain extent. The similarities end there. I'm pretty sure robots 'know' a lot more than I do, and I'm absolutely certain I have never completed a back flip or any other kind of somersault. Oh, and I'm differently fuelled: the Unitree H1 uses an electric motor. What makes this demonstration stand out is that other 'flipping' humanoid robots developed by companies like Boston Dynamics (owned by Hyundai) have been aided by hydraulics. As reported by newatlas.com: "After setting a new world speed record for humanoid robots earlier this month, China's Unitree is now claiming another. Its latest H1 bipedal takes the title for first to perform a standing backflip without the use of hydraulics". How do they do it? With electric motors and deep reinforcement learning, obvs. Try and keep up! Newatlas explains that the H1 relies solely on in-house M107 electric joint motors, each of which boasts 360 Nm (265.5 lb.ft) of peak torque (also to be found on the company's B2 quadruped). And according to Wikipedia: "Reinforcement learning (RL) is a process in which an agent learns to make decisions through trial and error". Okay. And deep reinforcement learning algorithms incorporate deep learning to solve states which cannot be solved by traditional RL algorithms. We don't all need to be experts, do we?

Keywords: Unitree H1 back flip, Unitree H1 hydraulics-free flip, robotics, humanoid robots, deep reinforcement learning

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