Coolest Inventions 2004: Hi, Robot

WALK TALL, PLAY BALL

One of the hardest things to get a robot to do is walk on two legs, but nowadays bipedal is practically banal. The real trick is to give your humanoid a smooth, natural gait. The J4, above, JVC's 8-in. showpiece at a recent Tokyo trade show, proved it could walk a nice walk and kick a soccer ball to boot. It's controlled via Bluetooth. The Chroino, right--if we didn't know any better, we'd think it was Playmobil's tribute to Marvin the Martian--also boasts a more graceful stride, thanks to new SHIN-Walk technology that allows the 14-in. robot...

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