World’s most advanced robot walks like a human

May 23rd, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by admin  

London, May 23 (IANS) Researchers trying to make robots walk have so far met with limited success, but one developed by a university in Netherlands walks as naturally as humans do. The robot, called Flame, is arguably the most advanced walking machine in the world, at least in the category that applies the human method of walking as a starting principle.

Since the robot, built at the Delft Technology University, mimics how people walk, it is likely to provide insights into problems associated with walking - and lead to better diagnoses, training and rehabilitation equipment.

Delft is a pioneer in walking robots, and past research there has studied the way humans walk - which is really very similar to falling forward in a controlled fashion.

Adopting this method replaces the cautious, rigid way in which robots walk with the more fluid, energy-efficient movement used by humans.

For Delft student Daan Hobbelen, the breakthrough came when he invented a method for measuring stability in the way people walk for the first time.

He then used this knowledge to introduce the “falling forward” method to his new robot.

Flame contains seven motors, an organ of balance and various algorithms that ensure a high level of stability.

For instance, the robot can apply the information provided by its organ of balance to place its feet slightly further apart in order to prevent a potential fall.

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