After developing the KHR-1 and making major advancements with the KHR-2, KAIST’s next humanoid was designed to have a streamlined exterior appearance. Beginning development in June 2004, KHR-3, known as HUBO (Humanoid Robot), allowed the researchers to implement various theories and algorithms such as dynamic walking, navigation, human interaction, and visual image recognition.
HUBO stands 125cm (4’1″) tall and weighs 55kg (120 lbs), has 41 DOF, composed of an internal skeleton made of aluminum alloy with a plastic exterior. This refined outer body required the researchers at KAIST to implement complex mechanical systems within the artistic design of the frame. The two major points separating HUBO from similar robots are his individually controlled five-fingered hands (which allow for complex gestures such as sign language), and his 24V LiPo batteries which are located inside his torso as opposed to a backpack.
HUBO is able to walk at a maximum speed of 1.25kph on even or slanted ground, and can operate for a maximum of 90 minutes without the need for an external power supply. HUBO’s vision is provided by two CCD cameras, which independently detect human facial expressions and objects.
Some degree of voice recognition and synthesis has been implemented, however HUBO is mainly controlled by an operator over a wireless connection. The internal CPUs are a combination of a laptop running Windows XP as well as smaller controllers for the DC motors and sensors in his body.
HUBO has become a celebrity in his native Korea, appearing on television in a variety of news programs but also on stage in live concerts with popular singers. Dr. Jun-Ho Oh has presented HUBO internationally as well, appearing on CNN and the Discovery Channel, to name a few. HUBO has since undergone another revision, with HUBO 2 (KHR-4) being first displayed at RoboWorld 2008, but the original remains one of the world’s most advanced humanoid robots.
Video (HUBO demonstration):
Video (CNN Future Summit):
Video (Wired NEXTFEST 2005):
Video (HUBO walking outside):
KAIST HUBO Lab