Japanese Robot World’s Best (At Saving Lives, Looking Cute)

Japanese Robot World’s Best (At Saving Lives, Looking Cute)

The DARPA Robotics Challenge was held the other day in Miami, pitting some of the world’s most advanced humanoid robots against each other to see which was the most lethal best suited to handling emergency situations.

The idea is that there are plenty of scenarios in which human life is in danger, but it would be better if more humans weren’t endangered trying to save them. So unstable building rubble, radiation leaks, that sort of thing.

DARPA’s challenge is to see if robots can step in and do a dangerous job for us. And while the robots aren’t quite there yet, the results here are pretty promising.

The winning robot, HRP-2, was from Team Schaft, a trio of Japanese students. It cleared pretty much every challenge thrown in front of it, from opening doors like an adorable little baby (above) to climbing ladders like a drunk pensioner.

While victorious on the day, more work is needed, especially since this was just a qualifier of sorts for another, more lucrative competition next year, when robots like HRP-2 will go up against models from military-industrial giants like Lockheed Martin.

It’ll also need a cooler name. HRP-2 just isn’t cutting it.


  • Actually HRP-2 is the old name and model back when it was still a part of the Japanese University. It is S-One now. On that note, the HRP-2 is the direct descendant of the Honda ASIMO. So this means S-One is ASIMO’s grandson.

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