Scientists develop robotic legs that mimic human gait

July 6th, 2012 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 6 (IANS) Researchers have designed a robotic set of legs which they believe is the first to mimic the human gait accurately.

The neural (nerve cell) architecture, musculoskeletal architecture and sensory feedback pathways in humans have been simplified and built into the robot, giving it a remarkably human-like walking gait.

The robot’s biological accuracy has allowed the researchers to investigate the processes underlying walking in humans and may bolster theories of how babies learn to walk, as well as helping to understand how spinal-cord injury patients can recover the ability to walk, the Journal of Neural Engineering reports.

A key component of the human walking system is the central pattern generator (CPG).

The CPG is a neural network in a spinal cord region that generates rhythmic muscle signals, according to an University of Arizona statement.

“Interestingly, we were able to produce a walking gait, without balance, which mimicked human walking,” study co-author Theresa Klein from Arizona.

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