Previously when we spoke about Artemis, we were referring to NASA’s program to send humans back to the Moon. That’s still on, but there’s a new ARTEMIS in town. This one is more closely related to Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot, except that it’s got no time for construction work.
The name is an acronym of Advanced Robotic Technology for Enhanced Mobility and Improved Stability. It was developed by the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and it plays soccer. No, really.
The robot has been in development for some time and has undergone the usual torture to ensure that it’s able to balance and correct itself. Now, its creators say, it’s ready to hit the soccer pitch and kick a few balls around. Standing at 1.42 metres tall and weighing a little over 38 kilograms, it’s not that much smaller than Marcin Garuch (look him up). We dare say that Garuch is a better performer on the field, however.
Still, at 2.1 metres per second, Artemis is the fastest humanoid robot on the planet. Robots have a way to go before they beat soccer players — the average pro moves at nearly nine meters per second on the pitch — but it’s not bad for a metal automaton. It’s enough to make it a contender in the annual RoboCup, which is a soccer tournament populated entirely by robots. It’s… not terribly exciting unless you’re a mechanical engineer. Hopefully this year will wind up a bit like Philosophy Football.
UCLA professor and director of RoMeLa, Dennis Hong, said, “We’re very excited to take ARTEMIS out for field testing here at UCLA and we see this as an opportunity to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to a much wider audience”.