Historical Perspective of Humanoid Robot Research in Asia

Atsuo Takanishi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter focuses on the early days of humanoid robotics research in Asia, all of which occurred in Japan. The scientific research on humanoid and anthropomorphic robots initiated by Kato (and the students in his laboratory) at Waseda University in the 1960s was the first in Japan, and probably in Asia. As little research on humanoid robotics was conducted at that time, most of the research in this area is attributed to Kato’s work. He developed a hydraulically powered one-leg mechanism in 1966 to understand human leg motion in walking. Then he tried to build two different types of bipedal walking robots; one was a hydraulically powered robot that realized static leg swing, sitting and standing motion, and the other was a pneumatic one that realized static walking, both in 1969. He and three professors at the university collaborated to develop a humanoid robot WABOT-1 (the WAseda roBOT) in 1970. This robot — the first full-scale anthropomorphic robot in the world — was completed in 1973 with not only static bipedal walking function for mobility but also stereo vison, speech recognition, and synthesis functions for communicating with humans. After Kato’s historical achievements, the number of researchers on bipedal walking robots gradually increased, mostly aiming to implement dynamic walking from the end of the 1970s to the middle of the 1980s.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHumanoid Robotics
Subtitle of host publicationA Reference
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789400760462
ISBN (Print)9789400760455
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


  • Bipedal Walking Robot
  • Humanoid Robot
  • ZMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science(all)


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