The original iCub robot was developed by researchers at the Italian Technology Institute (IIT) in Italy in 2004 to create a standardized, open source software and hardware system for a humanoid robot. Over the last 13 years, the iCub has enabled researchers from around the world to conduct a range of studies, from language acquisition to fine motor skills.
"Having many users was useful because people were finding problems and improvements on the initial design," says IIT's Giorgio Metta. For example, in the past year developers have added new code to the online database for iCub's software, while incremental improvements are pushing the project closer to creating a fully functional robotic child.
Today, Metta notes the iCub can move all elements of its upper body at the same time in a natural, fluid motion, a feat that would have been extremely difficult for the robot on the first day of the project.
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