Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Swimming Humanoid, or SWUMANOID, is the world’s first robot to reproduce a swimmer’s whole body motions while measuring water resistance.
The purpose in developing this robot was to help measure water resistance to a swimmer’s body and help them create better performance-enhancing swim gear. Currently, this Japanese swimming robot is a half-scale model of a human being and performs slower swimming motions. But according to its researchers, it is good enough to see how the SWUMANOID can give them the data that they need to observe and study.
The SWUMANOID was first created using a 3D body scan of a real person. Then a half-scale model was built. Later it was equipped with 20 waterproof motors and inserted with necessary movements to recreate realistic crawls, breaststrokes, backstrokes, butterflies, doggie paddles, and even treading water.
With the SWUMANOID’s performance, researchers are hoping to determine the impact a swimsuit has during swimming, so they can produce and develop performance-enhancing gear. The results were studied by researchers Chung Changhyun and Motomu Nakashima, and presented at the Aero Aqua-Biomechanism Symposium in Taiwan in August of 2012.