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Published on Aug 3, 2009
Standard humanoid robots mimic the human form but the mechanisms used in such robots are very different from those in humans, and the characteristics of the robot reflect this. This places severe limitations on the kinds of interactions such robots can engage in, on the knowledge they can aquire of their environment, and therefore on the nature of their cognitive engagement with the environment. However a new kind of robot is just beginning to emerge - the anthropomimetic robot. Instead of just copying the appearance of a human, it copies the inner structures and mechanisms - bones, joints, musles, and tendons, and thus has the potential for human-like action and interaction in the world.
ECCE, developed within the EU's 7th Framework Programme, is the first robot that follows the anthropomimetic design principles very closely. The project has three major goals: (1) to design and build a robot using anthropomimetic principles, (2) to characterise its dynamics and control it, (3) to exploit its human-like characteristics to produce some human-like cognitive features.