For the past three years, since having been taken over by X (Alphabet’s experimental technology lab) , there has been little news from SCHAFT, the company which originated from the JSK Robotics Laboratory (University of Tokyo). Finally, they made an appearance again at the New Economic Summit (NEST) 2016 held in Tokyo on April 07-08 2016, bringing along an astonishing prototype.
The robot they presented—it is not named yet—is able to climb stairs, carry heavy weights, walk around outdoors in forests and on snow, overcome obstacles and pass through narrow passages without ever loosing balance. SCHAFT says that their presentation was not meant to be a product presentation but just to show their progress. Currently, they are looking for real life problems which could be overcome using the bipedal robot.
What is most surprising about the new robot is the way his legs are built: They slide up and down like rails, instead of imitating a human gait. This further rises expectations for the further developments of SCHAFT Inc.!