Nakamura's JO-ZERO robot sets a new performance standard (Video)


To the untrained eye, Motohiro Nakamura’s latest humanoid robot creation, JO-ZERO, may look just like any other biped robot kit, but once it starts moving the differences are startling.

Nakamura, a long time ROBO-ONE champion, founder of Himeji Soft Works, and father of the WR-07 transformer robot that captured attention world-wide and logged over 6.5 million views on YouTube, has definitely given birth to a new star in the world of humanoid robotics.

What’s so impressive about the JO-ZERO design?

First: Although it is priced comparably with other humanoid robot kits on the market, JO-ZERO features quite a few more degrees of freedom enabling it to achieve very realistic flexibility and perform gymnast like moves that are far beyond the reach of other robots.

For example, take a look at the rescue robot segment in the video clip below to see how JO-ZERO can get down on its back and slide underneath obstacles, or climb over them like a monkey. Nakamura gave the robot extra joints in its arms, two additional joints in it’s torso/back, and provided the legs with a wider rotational range allowing it to twist and turn almost like a human.

Second (though Nakamura might consider this one ‘First’): JO-ZERO was designed to look just like a Japanese manga robot instead of a walking coat rack. The robot has style and character that comes directly from the pen of popular manga author Minoru Kamiya.

Third: Automatic motion creation and interpolation so that the user just has to specify a few simple parameters to define a walk rather than suffering through the time consuming and often frustrating process of creating each individual pose for the robot to assume while walking. It also makes editing and motion modification extremely simple and straight forward.

Take a look at this video, taken at IREX 2009 here last month, and you’ll see what we mean. Be sure to check out the segment starting about the 2 minute mark.

For some unknow reason the English version of Diginfo Video News on YouTube was out of order, so we’ve added the Japanese version of the JO-ZERO video after the English version, just in case:


There are other features that make JO-ZERO stand out from the crowd, but we think you get the picture.


8 thoughts on “Nakamura's JO-ZERO robot sets a new performance standard (Video)

  1. Sniper17,
    Thanks for the heads-up. For some strange reason the English version has been removed, so we’ve substituted the Japanese version of the video above.

  2. Hi,

    I’ve been advised by Motohiro Nakamura of Himeji Software Works Ltd that plans to release an English version of Jo-Zero are scheduled for the end of March (2010).

  3. I am a martial artist, i am surprise today’s robots haven’t used their hip for movements. When I get mine Kondo KHR2 I will add some hips dof and see what I can do.

  4. Very slick! Love the idea of the on-the-fly/dynamic gait calculation feature! Nice to see included in a commercially available bi-ped.

  5. sounds so fun not as cool as topio the ping pong playing robot though!

  6. Kane,

    Jo-Zero is real, and available as a product now. Topio has yet to work any of the times I’ve seen it on display (IREX2007, IREX2009) and the company has yet to even post a decent video showing Topio operating.

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