Humanoid Robot or an Anthropomorphic Robot is a robot with its overall appearance is based on that of the human body, and allows interaction with human tools or environments. Modern humanoid robots effectively interact with humans, and they contain artificial intelligence to detect humans, goods, environment, and languages for communication. Humanoid robot is an autonomous robot, and it can adapt to changes in its environment or itself and continue to reach its goal. This is the main difference between humanoid and other kinds of robots. Some of the capabilities of a humanoid robot may include: self-maintenance, autonomous learning, avoiding harmful situations, and safe interacting with human beings and the environment. Humanoid robots can learn or gain new capabilities without outside assistance, adjust strategies based on the surroundings and adapt to new situations.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) is a government-backed robotics research institute in South Korea. ETRI develops humanoid-like robots.

ETRO Humanoid Robot

ETRO Humanoid Robot

ETRO is a humanoid-like robot called ETRO that could see and read. ETRO Humanoid Robot relied on the Linux operating system and used computer vision (and its stereoscopic cameras) to identify faces, letters, and objects. If you held a book or any written words in front of its face, it could recognize them and read them out loud using a text-to-speech synthesizer. It could perform simple operations via voice command (such as retrieving traffic or weather related news from the internet), and was also capable of repeating set phrases (“Excuse me, sir, hello!”). Although not specified, the robot appears to have a number of ultrasonic range finders around its midriff, which suggests it had some simplistic obstacle avoidance functionality.

ETRO Humanoid Robot served as an ambassador for the institute at museums and ETRI showrooms for several years following its unveiling. According to a researcher at the institute’s Internet Computing Research lab, ETRO’s IQ is 40 (though he didn’t explain how they came to this number), and its technology could be transferred to commercial products, such as guide robots for the visually impaired or household pet robots.

In March 2011, ETRI unveiled a completely new version of ETRO that would make its first public appearance at Daejon’s National Science Museum from April to June. It was one of several real robots that interacted with museum visitors to showcase robotics as a key growth engine for the Korean economy. There were also Japanese karakuri ningyo, and robot toys at the exhibit. The new ETRO responded to people nearby with simple phrases and changing facial expressions (through its RGB LED array). For example it told visitors, “I love you!” and showed red hearts instead of its “eyes”.

New version ETRO Humanoid Robot features more complex arms than its predecessor, as well as an omnidirectional mobile base, ultrasonic sensors, and PSD sensors. Rather than stereoscopic cameras, the robot has a single camera located on its chest. It contains embedded boards built specifically for image recognition, speech recognition, and speech synthesis.