Robot Archer iCub

Humanoid robot iCub learns the skill of archery.

After being instructed how to hold the bow and release the arrow, the robot learns by itself to aim and shoot arrows at the target. It learns to hit the center of the target in only 8 trials.

The learning algorithm, called ARCHER (Augmented Reward Chained Regression) algorithm, was developed and optimized specifically for problems like the archery training, which have a smooth solution space and prior knowledge about the goal to be achieved. In the case of archery, we know that hitting the center corresponds to the maximum reward we can get. Using this prior information about the task, we can view the position of the arrow’s tip as an augmented reward. ARCHER uses a chained local regression process that iteratively estimates new policy parameters which have a greater probability of leading to the achievement of the goal of the task, based on the experience so far. An advantage of ARCHER over other learning algorithms is that it makes use of richer feedback information about the result of a rollout.

For the archery training, the ARCHER algorithm is used to modulate and coordinate the motion of the two hands, while an inverse kinematics controller is used for the motion of the arms. After every rollout, the image processing part recognizes automatically where the arrow hits the target which is then sent as feedback to the ARCHER algorithm. The image recognition is based on Gaussian Mixture Models for color-based detection of the target and the arrow’s tip.

The experiments are performed on a 53-DOF humanoid robot iCub. The distance between the robot and the target is 3.5m, and the height of the robot is 104cm.
This research will be presented at the Humanoids 2010 conference in December 2010 in USA.

Video credits:
Dr. Petar Kormushev

Dr. Sylvain Calinon

Dr. Ryo Saegusa

Advanced Robotics, IIT
Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, IIT
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

Photos of Robot Archer iCub:

Other videos:
Robot learns to flip pancakes

Link to publication:
P. Kormushev, S. Calinon, R. Saegusa, G. Metta,
Learning the skill of archery by a humanoid robot iCub,


Duration : 0:2:8





25 responses to “Robot Archer iCub”

  1. r0ck3t Avatar

    thats scary …
    thats scary… SKYNET!!! IS COMING

  2. squintin6 Avatar

    @chetopuffs, …
    @chetopuffs, every Shoshoni person on earth. Do it now or you may never get the chance after Skynet.

  3. LexCluthor Avatar

    Can’t wait till …
    Can’t wait till this thing takes over.

  4. meggss09 Avatar

    @Hemorrhag3 nope, …
    @Hemorrhag3 nope, the whole human race will become extinct. we need women to make babies, u bellend

  5. ijves Avatar

    end of human race = …
    end of human race = near

  6. Nothernwolfboarder Avatar

    @heavymetalrules123 …
    @heavymetalrules123 me too

  7. 117gotmilk Avatar

    @DigitizedSelf no …
    @DigitizedSelf no thats stupid only a stupid person would say that, your stupid..
    they help with wind resistance duhhhhhhhhhhh

  8. heavymetalrules123 Avatar

    Dunno why, but that …
    Dunno why, but that Robot scares me :/

  9. Kadazik Avatar

    honestly i think if …
    honestly i think if they gave this thing a gun and showed it how to hold it and made it shoot the target at 40 meters distance after eventual 20 tries it would hit spot on

  10. BbaLkAn88 Avatar

    SKYNET IS COMING>>>>>>>>

  11. Sarackosmo Avatar

    First it was like ” …
    First it was like “Awww how cute”

    And 10 years later it was like “RUN AND DON4T LOOK BACK”

    And than it ended with “……….”

  12. DigitizedSelf Avatar

    How important are …
    How important are the feathers for its ability to aim? Do they work as stabilizers?

  13. XekTOr89 Avatar

    Did we really …
    Did we really needed replays to see what happened

  14. Killzor97 Avatar


  15. dannyblanki Avatar

    satan controls this …
    satan controls this robot 😮

  16. chetopuffs Avatar


    That “Indian hat” is a mockery of a ceremonial head dress. Something that is important to my people, The Shoshoni, Indians are from India. Us Shoshoni are from North America. You need to get your straight.
    This is like building a robot that can find the best place to stand as it blows itself up to kill the maximum amount of people and dressing it an abaya.
    If this was done in America I would of already called the ACLU!

  17. TheSaintsfan19 Avatar

    @chetopuffs the …
    @chetopuffs the Indian hat? hence the bow and arrow, lol

  18. MrWhathapens Avatar

    il just grab my ak …
    il just grab my ak 47 tha ti dont have yet and shoot on my school befor they make more of those robots

  19. NDF211Gunner Avatar

    Judgment Day is …
    Judgment Day is here!

  20. silverzebra2 Avatar

    All you need to …
    All you need to destroy an evil race of robots trying to take over the world is an EMP shockwave. Bye bye robots.

  21. dripz167 Avatar

    I’m with you, …
    I’m with you, brother.

  22. dripz167 Avatar

    Lol, that made my …
    Lol, that made my day 😀

  23. dripz167 Avatar

    Rollout 8 = …
    Rollout 8 = Beginning of the end.

  24. thomassu1697 Avatar

    @Martinez705pwns …
    @Martinez705pwns thumbs up you’re own arse because your a

  25. Richard33335 Avatar

    amazing work, but …
    amazing work, but retarded idea. Huh, I wonder how the this is going to turn out. I guess its inevitable.

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