The article presents a viewpoint on the current status and limitations of humanoid robotics and possible future progress. It may be seen as a continuation of the article “How far away is artificial man?” published in 2001 by a group of authors, among them the author of the present text, in IEEE Robotics &Automation Magazine (IEEE RAM). The previous article defined three key aspects of advanced humanoids, namely human-like shape and motion, intelligence, and communication. The current article discusses the situation 18 years later and takes note of the trend towards biologically inspired solutions to technical problems. It might appear to put forward controversial ideas, but the author believes they are realistic observations and constitute a frank presentation of apparent tendencies. The author argues that the crucial breakthrough towards an “artificial man” has not yet been made, as formidable challenges remain and cannot be overcome easily in the near future. On the other hand, the question arises: After unsuccessful attempts to solve robotic problems by designing technical systems that increasingly imitate humans, can we finally drop out of engineering and completely turn to biology and look for solutions there? This controversial idea means artificial creation and mass production of human beings that behave like robots, i.e., robomimetic humans. The article is a brief reality check of this concept.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.