This was several years ago, but I recently came across these photos from Design Korea 2006 that I thought I should share with you. This display featured KAIST’s HUBO as well as four humanoid robot designs from Samung / KIST in what was called the “i-huro” exhibit which gives us an inside look at their design process.
The robot on the far left of the group is Mahru II, which was the last version of the robot completed as of that time. I believe the others in this line-up are potential designs for Mahru III, which would be completed soon after this exhibit in 2007. I say that because the two robots in the middle have design elements in common with Mahru III; it’s almost as if they decided to merge them to create the final design. The one on the far right is the most elaborate, but I’m glad they chose not to use it because it looks a bit too sci-fi and overdone. A little restraint goes a long way.
I hope this can help inspire people who are working on the outward appearance of a robot. And to the engineers, remember that appearance matters. Not only will it affect how the general public perceives your work, it may also determine if potential financial backers are impressed or disappointed. This isn’t as much an issue in Japan and Korea where aesthetics are respected, but in the West I feel as though artists are not allowed into the process until the last minute, which runs the risk of making an ugly or incomplete robot that won’t impress anyone.
A few more photos from the exhibit follow after the break.
[source: Impress Robot Watch China (CN)]
Impress Robot Watch China | Samsung / KIST