KAIST’s HUBO 2 has recently become the world’s third full-sized humanoid robot capable of running (after Honda’s ASIMO and Toyota’s Partner Robots – SONY’s QRIO was technically the first bipedal robot capable of running in 2003, but it was only 60cm tall). In the last video (in which HUBO 2 performs TaiChi) we saw the robot in its incomplete form doing some running tests. Now it appears that KAIST has got a complete robot running at 3.6kmph with 30cm strides, and improved its walking speed from 1.2kmph to 1.8kmph. In order to qualify as “running”, both of the robot’s feet must be off the ground simultaneously during the flight phase of the running gait (HUBO 2′s feet are in the air for approximately 20~30ms).
In related news, at ASIMO’s 9th birthday celebration, Makoto Hirose (Honda R&D) revealed they have recorded running speeds of 10kmph or more at their R&D facilities, but that it is a bit unstable. It was decided that the more stable 6kmph was safer and should be sufficient for keeping up with people. If true, that would put ASIMO back on top as the fastest running humanoid robot in the world (Toyota’s Partner Robot can run at 7kmph). Video of HUBO 2 running after the break.