Posted by: robotnews | March 18, 2007

Tai Chi Robot

u036796e Lim Ruo Qi
As my fyp is on Tai Chi and quantitizing of its properties, I just had to dig up on Tai Chi robots to find out how advanced they are in this area. In this particular robot I found, the main objectives of its creator is to create motions more complicated then just walking actions. Thus, Tai Chi was chosen for its continuity of movements.

The idea was quite straightforward. The robot consists of 22 motors and motion editor was used to manually input the positions of the various motors to achieve the movement of a single form.
The Front, Right, and Top views for the robot’s front, right, and above positions, respectively are shown in the motion editor.

These forms were obtained through thorough studying of Tai Chi magazines. The motion editor will output the control data for each motor. By connecting all the forms together, a continuous motion is formed. A significant part of the process is spent testing the robot and making changes to enable the robot to be able to balance when doing the forms.

A second part to the robot includes having a speech recognisation system to identify key words. This would enable users to call out Tai Chi motions which the robot will then perform.

This robot can then be used for entertainment and education purposes has it will help beginners to be able to commit the motions to mind through frequent playing with the robot.

However, the robot is not tuned to any ‘Tai Chi’ properties such as such as to be able to ‘yield and overcome’ instead of using brute force that many of us would have seen from martial arts flick and read about. This limits the usefulness of the robots in other areas.



  1. Mai Kaojie

    I think a “Bruce lee” robot will be interesting. Imagine a robot that can do the moves of Bruce lee … There is both entertainment and research value. Speed and balance are needed in such a robot.
    AchaaaaaAaa !!!! haha

  2. Lee Kaizhao U036122x

    In the original article, the author mentioned that one of the reasons for creating this Tai Chi Robot was to allow robots to ‘simulate precisely various kinds of human actions…[in order for them] to play an active role in society as our partner’.

    Personally, I feel that Man is still far from creating the perfect humanoid robots that we have always fantasized about. Even if the robot can master taichi, karate and gymnastics, they will still be limited by their level of artificial intelligence before they can be fully incorporated into our daily lives, like in ‘I, Robot’ or ‘Androids’. Till then, such humanoid robots can only exist in classrooms or exhibition centres or for entertainment values.

    Anyway, I will just like to add on that this Tai Chi Robot is already available for sale.!

  3. Stefan Wester, NT061492M

    One interesting question is why when creating robots we often aim at make robots look, behave and perform like humans. Is it really so that the main aim of a robot is being able to walk upright on two legs? There are plenty of animals that manages fine on four legs, with even greater agility then man.

    But if we necessarily need robots with only two legs, this type of exercise it exactly what a robot must learn to be able to keep balance and perform tasks.

  4. Tan Shunpeng U036051B

    I supposed it will be hard to make a robot to simulate Tai Chi movements as gracefully as a human Tai Chi master. The voice recognition being incorporated into the robot design does however, makes the robot more “human”. What an interesting project you have there.

  5. Hi,in my opinion, this is a great attempt by researchers to improve the movement of robots. Robots are making great stride in many areas. Yet, it is lacking on this aspect.

    As mentioned by Dr. Prahlad,there is this soccer robot vision where robots will be able to compete against humans in a full-fledge soccer game by 2050. In a way, this is a step to creating the next generation of robots. Thanks.

    Ng Chin Ling (U047690E)

  6. u036796e Lim Ruo Qi

    Just some last thoughts since I am enable to find the original post to edit..
    I find the motions editing software they have is a wonderful tool in robotics. I wonder how much programming is involved. If its possible to download the positions of the robot just like that, the robot can do much then then tai chi forms. It can recreate other forms by imitating the motions.

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