Humanoid robot takes the wheel: A glimpse into autonomous driving

  • Researchers at the University of Tokyo train humanoid robot “Musashi” to drive an electric car.
  • Musashi uses cameras, mechanical hands, and anti-slip feet to operate the vehicle.
  • Challenges remain in speed consistency and acceleration, but researchers are optimistic about future advancements.

The concept of humanoid robots driving cars evokes both fascination and caution. Seeing Musashi in action brings excitement for what lies ahead. However, the cautious approach in its operations highlights the complexities involved in achieving seamless autonomous driving. While challenges like speed consistency and response times need refinement, the dedication of researchers to push boundaries gives hope for a future where robotic drivers enhance road safety and efficiency.
Dudu, BTW Reporter

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have achieved a significant breakthrough in autonomous driving technology by training a humanoid robot named “Musashi” to operate a small electric car on a controlled test track.

Unlocking the potential of humanoid robot drivers

Is the future of autonomous driving paved with humanoid robots? Researchers at the University of Tokyo, in collaboration with Toyota, are exploring this possibility with their latest creation, “Musashi.” This musculoskeletal humanoid has been trained to drive a small electric car on a controlled test track, marking a significant step towards integrating robotic technology into everyday transport solutions.

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A leap forward in automotive robotics

Equipped with two cameras as eyes, Musashi navigates the road ahead and monitors surroundings through car mirrors. Its precise mechanical hands handle tasks like turning the key, adjusting the handbrake, and signalling turns, while anti-slip feet control the accelerator and brake pedals. Initial tests show promising results, with Musashi successfully negotiating intersections and obeying traffic lights after learning to interpret sensor data for steering.

Opinion: Redefining mobility with human-robot collaboration

The journey towards autonomous vehicles gains new momentum with Musashi’s development. It underscores the potential of humanoid robotics to revolutionise transportation, making roads safer and travel more accessible. As we anticipate further innovations, Musashi represents a bold stride towards a future where human-robot partnerships redefine mobility standards globally.


Doris Du

Doris Du is an intern reporter at BTW Media. She graduated with a master's degree in Translating and Interpreting from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Send tips to

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