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Roboy – the cute robot with a face like Casper

Roboy – the cute robot with a face like Casper
Bernadine Racoma

In the not so distant future, we might have pals that spend a day with us and be plugged and recharged at night. We are not talking about various hand-held gadgets here like tablets and mobile phones. We are talking about humanoid robots with tendon-driven motors, almost completely imitating human movements.We are talking here about Roboy.

Students of artificial intelligence at the University of Zurich, together with international robotics experts were given the task of building a robot with fluid human motions in an incredibly short time frame of nine months. It was given private funding initially so the work could immediately start. It was also revealed that the software and mechanics of the robot will be done through the Open Source Initiative. It has been named Roboy.

Who or what is Roboy

Roboy is the first humanoid robot that is equipped with anthropomorphic tendon-driven arm or ANTHROB. This system is a breakthrough electronic and mechanical development, imitating the fluid movements of jointed body parts. Roboy was conceptualized in 2011 and work on building the actual robot began in June of 2012.

Roboy is a further development that stemmed from ECCE, a robot that was modeled after the anatomy of a human being and movements of the body. Its development was led by University of Sussex professor, Prof. Owen Holland.

Envisioned Functions

The development of Roboy is through the auspices of Konzept Agentur, a technological company in Switzerland and several design firm partners. Roboy has been given a protected musculoskeletal system and a cute face, a morph of features and shape taken from designs submitted via Roboy’s social media account in Facebook.

Roboy is meant to be seamlessly integrated in people’s daily human existence, safely working and interacting with humans at work, in the streets and at home.


The developers of Roboy need additional funding and they plan to have crowd-sourced fund raising campaigns. The developers are running it through Roboy’s Facebook page, urging companies and generous individuals and groups to donate to its development and get the chance to have their logos/corporate identities placed on parts of Roboy’s body.

Robots on Tour

Roboy will be one of the robots to be exhibited at the World Congress and Exhibition of Robots, Humanoids, Cyborgs and More in Zurich on March 9, 2013.

Video by Roboy Junior

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