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 Automates Anciens.com  is a French site about ancient automatons.  It has pages in several languages including English.  They have some good historical information about really old automatons.


Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan) has been building humanoid robots for 30 years.  They have now published historical booklets of all their projects.  The following two booklets are shown:

1973 - WABOT-1 (Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan)

Wabot-1 was the first full-scale anthropomorphic robot built in the world. It consisted of a limb control system, a vision system, and a conversation system. The Wabot-1 was able to communicate with a person in Japanese and to measure distances and directions to the objects using external receptors, artificial ears and eyes, and an artificial mouth. The Wabot-1 walked with his lower limbs and was able to grip and transport objects with hands that used tactile sensors.

       WABOT.jpg (4802 bytes)         

1983-1988 - Greenman (USA)

An anthropomorphic manipulator was developed at NRad in the middle 1980s and was nick-named Greenman.   NRad has changed its name to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego or SPAWAR. They have many robotics projects which you can see here.

       greenman.jpg (16931 bytes)                  grnhead.jpg (21978 bytes)       

          Greenman                       Close-up of head

SPAWAR also developed 3 robots for the US Navy called Robart I, Robart II, and Robart III.  Robart I was built during 1980-1982. Robart II was built during 1982-1992. Robart III started in 1992 and is still ongoing.

1984 - Wabot-2 (Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan)

The robot musician Wabot-2 is able to communicate with a person, read a normal musical score with his eyes and play tunes of average difficulty on an electronic organ. The Wabot-2 is also able to accompany a person while he listens to the person singing. The Wabot-2 was the first milestone in developing a "personal robot".

           wabot-2.jpg (20090 bytes)         Image is 20K

1985 - WHL-11 (Waseda Hitachi Leg 11) (Japan)

The WHL-11 biped walking robot was developed by Hitachi Ltd based on the WL-10R with a computer and hydraulic pump installed. The WHL-11 is capable of static walking on a flat surface at 13 seconds per step and it can also turn.

           WHL-11.jpg (6779 bytes)    

1985 - WASUBOT (Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan)

The WASUBOT was another musician robot. It performed a concerto with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, playing "Aria on the G-string" by J.S. Bach at the opening ceremony of the International Science and Technology Exposition which was held from March 16 to September 16, 1985.

          wasubot.jpg (7108 bytes)

1986-1989 - Manny (USA)

Manny was a full scale anthropomorphic manikin developed at Battelle's Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richand, Washington. It took 12 researchers 3 years and $2 million to develop this robot. Manny has 42 degrees of freedom and was delivered to the US Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah in 1989.

Here are a couple of pictures of  Manny

manny1b.jpg (73K bytes)                        manny2b.jpg (52K bytes)  

Image is 73K                               Image is 52K

1986 - 1993  Honda Motor Company  (Tokyo, Japan). 

Honda began developing their androids in 1987 which marked the beginning of a ten year effort. During the first seven years they developed 7 walkers which were designated E0 through E6. E0 was in 1986,  E1 - E3 were done during 1987 - 1991. And E4 - E6 were done between 1991 - 1993. Here is a link to E0 - E6. Here is a new history link from Honda.

1995 - Hadaly, (Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan)

An anthropomorphic robot called "Hadaly" was developed in 1995, to study human-robot communication. Hadaly has three subsystems: a head-eye subsystem, a voice control system for listening and speaking, and a motion control subsystem. The head-eye subsystem makes it possible to turn toward the visitor. The voice subsystem converses with the visitor in Japanese and the motion control subsystem moves the arms to point toward campus destinations. The name Hadaly is from the manmade human in the novel "L'eve Future" by French author Villiers de I'Isle-Adam which was written in the 19th century.   Hadaly was not very anthropomorphic.

        hadaly2.jpg (155913 bytes)       Image is 152K.

1996 - Honda Motor Company  ( Tokyo, Japan )

Honda introduced their "Human" robot in Tokyo on December 20, 1996. It stands 6 feet tall and weighs about 460 pounds. In can operate completely independently on battery power for 15 minutes. This is truly a great achievement. Since then Honda has introduced the P2, P3, and ASIMO androids. You can see them all on the World's Greatest Android Projects page. Here is a new history link from Honda.

          honda.jpg (107677 bytes)       Image is 105K

1996-1998 Tokyo University - the Saika project

A light-weight, human-size and low-cost humanoid robot was developed. The humanoid robot is named Saika ("outstanding intelligence" in Japanese). Saika has a two-DOF neck, dual five-DOF upper arms, a torso and a head. Several types of hands and forearms are under development also.The Jouhou System Kougaku laboratory directs this project. They have several professors and about 50 students.  This project was active between 1996 - 1998

  saika1.jpg (14859 bytes)       saika2.jpg (22242 bytes)   

Jouhou System Kougaku (JSK) laboratory at Tokyo University has another project called H5. This android is full-sized with legs.  This project began at the end of 1998.

      H5.jpg (127674 bytes)    H5 - 125 KB

. Honda Motor Co. built the original P1 1993 & 1994.  It is 1.915 meters tall and weighs 175 Kg.  Fortunately, you can understand a picture in any language. Honda aparently built 7 experimental walking robots BEFORE P1.  Here is a link to E0 - E6.

   honda_monster.jpg (32270 bytes)  

    The original P1.

Honda built a battery powered android which can walk like a person and can even walk up and down stairs.  It looks like an astronaut in a spacesuit. It stands about six feet tall and it weighs about 460 pounds. Honda spent 10 years developing this android which was introduced in Tokyo, December 20, 1996. Honda has now revealed that they spent more than $100 MILLION (US) on that project..  This android is referred to internally as P2. Staff: unknown, project estimated to be at least 200 man years.    Here is a link to P1 -P3.

    p2.jpg (106846 bytes)      104KB


  Honda Motor Co    P3 was finished in September of 1997.  This android is 160 cm tall (5'3") and weighs a mere 130Kg (=286 pounds).

   p3front.jpg (58321 bytes)   p3side.jpg (38614 bytes)

        57KB                      38KB

Here is an index of P3 events with lots of pictures.  Four events are listed: event1, event2, event3, event4.

Here are some MOVIES of the robot. 


Karsten Burns' Walking Machines

Karsten Burns at the University of Karlsruhe has researched all the walking machines in the world and has produced a walking machines catalog