After completing the KHR-1 in 2002, by 2003 KAIST began development of the KHR-2. The KHR-2 had a much more sophisticated body than the KHR-1 (height 120cm, weight 54kg, and 41 DOFs total). The joints break down as follows: arms x11 (including 5 DOF just for the fingers), legs x6, head x6 (2 per eye, 2 in neck), and 1 DOF for the torso.
With an onboard PC running Windows XP, the KHR-2 had a head with 2 CCD cameras to provide visual tracking of people and objects. It could track a person’s relative position and maintain a certain distance while following. In addition, the arms were given a greater range of motion and had five-fingered hands. The KHR-2 was the first Korean humanoid with individual finger control, allowing it to perform complex gestures, and grasp and hold objects like a coffee cup or soda can.
The KHR-2 was able to walk forwards (1kph), backwards, strafe left and right, turn in place, and negotiate stairs. Development wrapped up on the KHR-2 in 2004. Amazingly, the researchers at KAIST had managed to catch up to much of Honda’s 20 years of work in humanoid robotics in just four years.
With its exterior chassis hiding most of its internal mechanisms (and all contained within the body without the need for a “backpack”), KAIST’s humanoid was beginning to show some personality, which would reach maturity in its next iteration, unveiled in 2005.
KAIST HUBO Lab