University of Tehran unveils Surena III humanoid robot

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Surena III at left, with a couple of "her" predecessors(Credit: University of Tehran/CAST)

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The likes of Asimo, Valkyrie and ATLAS better make some room, as there's a new humanoid robot on the block – and it looks not unlike the Gort bot from the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. It's the third version of the University of Tehran's Surena robot, and it was unveiled this Monday.

Designed as a robotics research platform, Surena III was created by a team at the university's Center of Advanced Systems and Technologies (CAST), led by Prof. Aghil Yousefi-Koma.

It stands 190 cm (6.2 ft) tall, weighs 98 kg (216 lb) and features four articulated limbs – it has six degrees of freedom in each leg, seven in each arm, one in each hand, one in the torso and two in the neck. These are driven by EC (electronically commutated) motors in the lower body, and by servomotor packages (which include motors, gearboxes and drivers) in the upper body.

These powered joints allow it to do things like walking along straight or curved paths, walking up and down slopes or stairs, adapting to uneven terrain, and grasping objects.

The robot is also able to interact with people thanks to its vision, voice recognition and (Persian-language) speech modules, running on custom software developed using the Robot Operating System. It can additionally monitor its onboard sensors, detect objects/faces, and imitate peoples' motions.

According to the university, Surena III has been in the works for almost four years, with 70 people from six different Iranian institutions involved in the project. The original Surena robot debuted in 2008.

Surena III can be seen in action, in the video below.

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