Walking robots spawned from ‘spring-mass’ tech

Washington D.C, Oct 28 (ANI): A team of researchers has achieved the most realistic robotic implementation of human walking dynamics that has ever been done, which may ultimately allow human-like versatility and performance.

The system is based on a concept called “spring-mass” walking that was theorized less than a decade ago, and combines passive dynamics of a mechanical system with computer control. It provides the ability to blindly react to rough terrain, maintain balance, retain an efficiency of motion and essentially walk like humans do.

As such, this approach to robots that can walk and run like humans opens the door to entire new industries, jobs and mechanized systems that do not today exist.

“I’m confident that this is the future of legged robotic locomotion,” said Jonathan Hurst, adding “We’ve basically demonstrated the fundamental science of how humans walk.”

The technologies developed at Oregon State University have evolved from intense studies of both human and animal walking and running, to learn how animals achieve a fluidity of motion with a high degree of energy efficiency. Animals combine a sensory input from nerves, vision, muscles and tendons to create locomotion that researchers have now translated into a working robotic system.

Researchers said in their new study that this technology “has the potential to enhance legged robots to ultimately match the efficiency, agility and robustness of animals over a wide variety of terrain.”

The findings on spring-mass walking have been reported for the first time in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, by engineers from OSU and Germany. (ANI)

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