World’s Fastest Walking Humanoid Robot Developed at UCLA

During testing in the lab, ARTEMIS has broken records by walking 2.1 meters per second—believed to be the fastest speed for any humanoid robot designed in an academic setting

Mechanical engineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have unveiled ARTEMIS, a full-sized humanoid robot with first-of-its-kind technology. Equipped with both bipedal locomotion over uneven terrain and the ability to run, ARTEMIS is set to compete in the 2023 RoboCup international scientific meeting in Bordeaux, France.

Standing 4 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 85 pounds, ARTEMIS’ advanced robotics technology for enhanced mobility and improved stability possesses several unique features. Its custom-designed springy and force-controlled actuators behave much like biological muscles allowing it to move steadily even when disrupted or disturbed. During testing in the lab, ARTEMIS has broken records by walking 2.1 meters per second—believed to be the fastest speed for any humanoid robot designed in an academic setting. It is also the first robot of its kind powered by electrically driven actuators rather than hydraulics which can be noisy and spill fluids.

The machine has been programmed with custom-designed force sensors on each foot as well as orientation units and cameras in its head to help perceive its surroundings. To prepare it for competition, UCLA student researchers have been taking it on campus walks while they evaluate further abilities such as traversing stairs with objects and rebounding after falls. They are also using this opportunity to spread STEM education throughout the campus community by sharing trial results online via their Twitter account which gives students a chance to interact with researchers about ARTEMIS’ journey.

ARTEMIS’ development was funded through donations from 232 UCLA Spark contributors cumulating to over $118K in addition to an Office of Naval Research grant. The team hopes that this next-generation humanoid robot will continue its legacy by bringing home its sixth consecutive trophy from RoboCup 2023—a great achievement made possible through Taoyuanmin Zhu and Min Sung Ahn’s hard work designing its hardware system and software system respectively.

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