I’d say about 90% of all robotics-related news we cover on CrunchGear is from Japan, so getting to report about a new robot that’s actually made in the US is a nice change of pace. The little guy you see on the picture and in the video embedded below is called DARwIn-LC and was developed by the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (Romela) at Virginia Tech.
With its cute design, DARwIn-LC looks very much like one of the many Japanese humanoids out there. He’s actually a first step on the way to developing a whole new “Open Platform Humanoid Robot”, with Romela planning to commercialize the kit next year (according to RoboForum Singapore).
The robot features two joints in its head and another 18 in its body. DARwIn-LC may move a bit clumsy at this early stage, but the way he tracks and follows the ball in the clip below (and kicks it in the right moment) is quite impressive already.
Here’s DARwIn-LC in action:
Via Plastic Pals