We’ve seen a lot of robot inventions in the past, but the HRP3L-JSK seems special. Why? This robot is a rare bi-pedal specimen that can actually maintain its balance, even if you try to trip it down. Junichi Urata and his colleagues at the University of Tokyo’s JSK Lab, led by Professor Masayuki Inaba, have developed a high-torque, high-speed robotic leg based on a novel electrical actuation system. When tripped off, the robot calculates 170 possible foot positions and picks up the most stable solution in just 1 millisecond. In order to do that, the actuators in each joint on both legs must have enough speed and power to keep its balance. You can check out the video after the jump.

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The HRP3L-JSK robot uses high-voltage and high-current liquid-cooled motor drivers that get its power from a 13.5-farad capacitor system. Erico Guizzo of IEEE Spectrum said that capacitors are good because it can supply lots of current, something that batteries are not good at. The capacitor-powered Maxon 200-watt brushless motors produce speeds up to 1000 degrees per second and 350 Nm of torque on the robot’s knee joints, enough to move the legs into the right position before it falls. You’ll also notice that the Japanese robot can even jump 44 cm (17 inches) off the ground, although it has to work on the landing part. The only downside: no battery can sustain its functions, so it won’t go very far from the lab.

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