Robots Learning To Walk

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A trio of robots that were shown off at the American Association for the Advancement of Science are demonstrating an ability to walk, as well as the ability to learn and improve its way of walking.

Earlier walking robots required much more effort and design to be able to walk with any accuracy. The new models use what is called “passive-dynamic design,” which copies the walking ability of humans. In order to facilitate the task, the robots were designed using mechanical ankles and curved feet.

According to the LA Times

The passive dynamic design uses gravity, along with muscle-like springs and motors. The energy required is just a fraction of that needed by other walking robots, said Andy Ruina, a Cornell University researcher.

Ruina said the walking robots move like humans, falling and catching themselves as they move forward. This essentially is the same movement people use, a motion toddlers must master to walk.

“We let the machines take care of a lot of the motion,” he said. In contrast, most walking robots, such as Asimo, developed by the Honda Motor Co., require a motor to power every motion.

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Robots Learning To Walk
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