SPICA and ZiN are a pair of bipedal robots built by 11 students from Gifu National College of Technology’s Robot Lab for the ABU Robocon 2009 (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union’s Robot Contest). The team decided to take a different approach to bipedal movement for each robot.
ZiN, the first robot, has a design reminiscent of wind-up walking toys that uses a single motor to actuate both legs. Named after the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, SPICA raises its arm and emits light from its hand, in a stance reminiscent of disco dancing. It has a total of 15 motors (2 legs x6, 1 arm x3). The disco influence came from the challenge, which in this case required one robot to capture a small disco ball and transfer it to another robot. Although the robots weren’t able to advance to the final leg of the competition, they were certainly the most amazing robots to appear at Robocon 2009.