ARTEMIS: 'World's fastest' humanoid robot readies for RoboCup

The 85-pound, 4.8 feet tall robot maintains stability even when violently shoved or disturbed.
Baba Tamim
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ARTEMIS’ major innovation is that its actuators — devices that generate motion from energy — were custom-designed to behave like biological muscles.


The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Samueli School of Engineering has developed Advanced Robotic Technology for Enhanced Mobility and Improved Stability (ARTEMIS), a cutting-edge humanoid robot.

The robot will travel to Bordeaux, France, in July to compete in the soccer match of the 2023 RoboCup, as per a press release by the university on Friday.

The main innovation "is the key behind its excellent balance while walking on uneven terrain and its ability to run — getting both feet off the ground while in motion," said Dennis Hong, a UCLA mechanical and aerospace engineering professor and director of RoMeLa.

"This is a first-of-its-kind robot."

The robot's central innovation is that its actuators, which are machines that use energy to create motion, were specially created to function like biological muscles.

As opposed to the stiff, position-controlled actuators used in the majority of robots, these are springy and force-controlled.

ARTEMIS- fastest robot in the world

The robot was developed as a general-purpose humanoid robot by researchers at the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at UCLA, or RoMeLa, focusing on bipedal locomotion across uneven terrain.

It can sprint, jump, and walk on uneven and unstable surfaces. The robot is 85 pounds and 4 feet, 8 inches tall. Even when ARTEMIS is violently shoved or disturbed, it can maintain stability.

According to UCLA researchers, ARTEMIS has been timed walking 2.1 meters per second during lab tests, making it the fastest walking humanoid robot in the world.

It is thought to be just the third humanoid robot overall and the first to have been created in an academic environment.

The fact that ARTEMIS' actuators are electrically driven rather than hydraulically controlled, which employs variations in fluid pressure to cause movement, represents another significant advancement.

As hydraulic systems are infamous for leaking fluid, it is also cleaner and functions more quietly and effectively than robots using hydraulic actuators.

Preparation for the RoboCup

Student researchers have been testing ARTEMIS on routine walks around the UCLA campus to prepare it for RoboCup.

In the UCLA Intramural Field, they will thoroughly evaluate the robot's running and soccer-playing abilities in the upcoming weeks.

RoboCup is an international scientific conference where robots exhibit their abilities in various categories.

"We're very excited to take ARTEMIS out for field testing here at UCLA, and we see this as an opportunity to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to a much wider audience," Hong said in the press release.

Two hundred thirty-two contributors gave more than $118,000 through a UCLA Spark crowdfunding effort to help create ARTEMIS. An Office of Naval Research funding contributed further assistance.

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