Researchers at the University of Tehran unveil Surena III, their latest and most advanced humanoid robot. Liane Wimhurst reports.
It may just look like robot yoga, but over four years of research went into giving Surena III this kind of flexibility. A team of 70 people from the University of Tehran school of mechanical engineering worked on this third generation robot. Behind these eyes are cameras interpreting its environment This means it won't fall down hill. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AGHIL YOUSEFI-KOMA, UNIVERSITY OF TEHRAN SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, SAYING: "Its speed is seven times faster than Surena II. Its intelligence level is much higher than Surena II. It can recognize faces, objects, and also it can grip the objects such as glasses and so on. Surena III can walk up and down the stairs and slopes. Surena II couldn't do this. And also, it can turn around, it can turn on the spot, and Surena III has some feedback control systems inside, which makes it possible for Surena to walk on uneven surfaces." Its pincer-like grip enables it to pick up objects or engage in a gentlemanly greeting The goal was to make it as life-like as possible (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBOT ENGINEER MINA BANI-ASAD, SAYING: "In this robot, we try to imitate the human body, and considering all joints and degrees of freedom and centre of rotation of each joint, to perform the manoeuvres like a human." Surena III stands at over 6ft tall and weighs over 14 stone, cutting an imposing figure But, thankfully, it's programmed to respond to human commands. And could serve society in the future. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AGHIL YOUSEFI-KOMA, UNIVERSITY OF TEHRAN SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, SAYING: "In disasters they can help us to work in hospitals, they can help us at home, they can work as a toy, they can work in hospitals, in banks and so on. Also, in very sensitive areas - for example, they can help human in space travels." The team are already at work on the Surena IV, which will be Iranian scientists' most advanced robot yet.