Swumanoid as a Tool to Help Enhance Speed of Swimming
Well, it looks like research on robots is going swimmingly at the Tokyo institute of Technology who have introduced a novel humanoid robot that replicates the motion of a swimmer. Swumanoid is a humanoid robot that has been designed and engineered to swim in a similar fashion to how a human swims in water. The project has be developed by the Nakashima Group at Tokyo Institute of Technology. It is hoped that the Swumanoid will help understand how humans can swim at a faster pace and to make this technology a good tool for helping athletes enhance their speed at swimming.
The researchers are keen to get to the bottom of the degree of propulsive force produced by the swimmers during a stroke. During the testing phase of this project, a 3D body scan was used to measure the body of an athletic swimmer. The swimming motion of the competitive swimmer were reproduced by the Swumanoid using 20 computer-aided motors. By controlling the robots motion in water, it is possible for the team to measure how much force the robot receives from the water to reflect its performance at swimming in water. The team of researchers at the Tokyo institute of technology have designed the robot to swim in a butterfly and backstroke fashion, but further engineering is underway to allow this robot to swim using the breaststroke technique. The robot is currently performing under controlled commands, but there is further effort here to try and create a robot that can swim more intuitively.