Below is a video of Iran’s robot, Surena 2, getting a workout on Iranian television.
Surena II (Persian: سورنا) is a humanoid robot which has been developed and fabricated through a joint project between “Center for Advanced Vehicles (CAV), University of Tehran” and “the R&D Society of Iranian Industries and Mines”. – article
It’s hard to know what Iran is intending with this project, but I think it’s a pretty good example of what closed borders will produce. A little more communication with outside research groups and they might have a robot that does something more than balance on one leg while occasionally twitching its arms.
It seems to me ten minutes of conversation with the Asimo people, or even just watching some of their late ’90s videos, would have rocketed Surena’s research program forward.
(Fast forward to the last minute if you want to skip a little robo-history)
You might argue that Honda has had a lot of money and time to invest in Asimo, but go back to that Surena 2 video, then compare it against this last item, which was likely hatched by Osakan university students.