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Swimming Robot

Japanese researchers recently demonstrated the world’s first humanoid swimming robot. Known as Swumanoid, it can swim the length of a 25-meter pool in less than two minutes, and is capable of doing the crawl, the butterfly or the backstroke.

The resin robot is about 89 cm (35 inches) tall with proportions similar to a competitive swimmer. It’s equipped with twenty immersible motors, which propel it through the water using its arms and legs, just as humans do.

Swumanoid will be used to help Olympic contenders improve their technique, and may be used to develop more highly competitive swimsuit designs. Future adaptations could even enable humanoid lifeguards to rescue drowning swimmers.

For information: Motomu Nakashima, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1-I3-0 Ookakyama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8552, Japan; phone: +81-3-5734-2586; email:; Web site:

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