The Korea Times is reporting that on Thursday South Korean robot manufacturer Robotis unveiled the RX, a robot capable of running at almost 0.5 mph. Developed in conjunction with Samsung Electronics and Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication, the RX stands 2 feet tall. Like the Robotis’s Bioloid kit, the RX is made up of modular components that can be rearranged easily into other forms according to Kim Byoung-soo, Robotis chief executive.
While the RX is not the first or fastest, it does find itself in some pretty impressive company. Sony’s Qrio, introduced in 2003, was the first humanoid capable of running, and Honda followed soon after with Asimo which is able to run at almost 2 mph. The Robotis announcement is significant, however, because Korea has, until recently, not placed the same importance on, or dedicated funds to, robot research and development as Japan, Europe and the US. The budget for the creating the RX was a paltry 1 million dollars, a fraction of a percent of what has already gone towards the Asimo.