It seems like it was just yesterday when ASIMO, the world’s first robot with predicted movement control, had managed to walk on its own two feet. That was nearly 15 years ago, and now a group of researchers at the Advanced Mechanical Bipedal Experimental Robotics (AMBER) Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology have just demonstrated a bipedal robot running at a pace and style just like a human’s.
Called the Durus-2D, this robot has a design allows for its human-like gait, its automated legs have knees, and the size of the calves looks quite proportionate to that of an average-sized person. It also has a spring mechanism on the ankle area that allows for its naturalistic locomotion as it jogs at a brisk pace. One of AMBER Lab’s main focus is on human-inspired robotic walking where they collect data from humans as the template for the Darus-2D. They note on their site:
Using human walking data to achieve robotic walking.
- Begin with human walking
- Determine constraints from the human data over time
- Encode these constraints to construct robotic models and controllers
- Implement these controllers in simulation
- Obtain “human-inspired” robotic walking experimentally
The focused goals of their research is around Prosthetic Control and Design for human protheses to be more human like (think Luke’s robot hand in Star Wars). They AMBER lab is also working on automated automative system (e.g. the Google car). Whats interesting here is the learning from how a human walks and runs and taking that data and “teaching” the robot to do the same.