Iran has unveiled Surena-2, its second full-sized humanoid robot, named after a warrior of ancient Persia. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met Surena-2 along with some of its 20 robotics researchers from Tehran University, at a conference center during a ceremony to mark National Industry and Mine Day in Tehran. The robot stands 145cm (4’9″) tall and weighs 45kg (99 lbs) and uses gyroscopes and accelerometers to maintain its balance. It has a total of 22 degrees of freedom (2 legs x6, 2 arms x4, neck x2). Newspapers described it as walking slowly with the regular movements of the arms and legs, and the researchers hope it will be used to perform difficult and sensitive tasks.
The project seeks to examine the properties of bipedal locomotion, but serves mainly as a showpiece to get students interested in science and engineering. In the future, they’d like to add voice recognition and speech synthesis as well as computer vision to its capabilities. You can watch videos of it in action in this post.
The original Sorena (oddly, spelled with an “o” instead of a “u”) was 160cm (5’2″) tall and weighed 60kg (132 lbs), but was considerably less sophisticated than the second version. It was first unveiled in 2008 and had only eight degrees of freedom in total, which limited it to simple movements. Although it looked like a bipedal humanoid it didn’t actually walk, but instead rolled on wheels inside the feet. A video of the original Sorena, and a few more images of Surena-2 follow after the break.