Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bipedal Bots Star At AAAS Media Briefing

Date:
February 28, 2005
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
At a Feb. 17 media briefing during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), members of three independent research teams jointly unveiled a new breed of powered, energy efficient, two-legged robots with a surprisingly human gait.

Researchers at Cornell, MIT and the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have developed a new breed of powered, energy efficient, two-legged robots with a surprisingly human gait. By applying concepts rooted in "passive-dynamic walkers"—devices that can walk down a gentle slope powered only by the pull of gravity—the engineers have crafted robots that can walk on level ground, in some cases using as little as one-half the wattage of a standard compact fluorescent light bulb.
Credit: NSF

At a Feb. 17 media briefing during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), members of three independent research teams jointly unveiled a new breed of powered, energy efficient, two-legged robots with a surprisingly human gait.

The new technologies are described in the Feb. 18 issue of the journal Science.

Researchers from Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and their colleagues from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, displayed video footage of all three bipedal robots and demonstrate the biped developed at MIT.

"These innovations are a platform upon which others will build," says Michael Foster, an expert on computer and information science and engineering and one of the NSF managers who oversaw the research. "This is the foundation for what we may see in robotic control in the future."

By applying concepts rooted in "passive-dynamic walkers"—devices that can walk down a gentle slope powered only by the pull of gravity—the engineers have crafted robots like the Cornell biped that walk on level ground using one-half the wattage of a standard, compact fluorescent light bulb.

"The biped walking mechanism in robots is limited by on-board battery power," says Junku Yuh, NSF expert on intelligent systems, who also oversaw the research. "The Cornell team's passive mechanism helps greatly reduce the power requirement. Their work is very innovative."

Representing fundamental developments in computer and mechanical control, the robots are helping researchers understand bipedal motion and revealing processes that underlie human locomotion and motor learning. Applications are already on the horizon, with one researcher exploring how the new robotics can aid development of increasingly energy-efficient prosthetic devices.

"This is a perfect example of a single concept yielding benefits in a variety of fields, including medicine," says NSF program officer Gil Devey, an NSF expert on disabilities research.

The MIT walker's passive-dynamic design provides a new way to study motor learning. The robot can teach itself to walk in as little as 10 minutes, adapting to terrain as it moves.

"This project is about the fundamentals of control," says Foster. "The researchers have combined our developing knowledge of computerized control with mechanical principles that the world provides for us and shown that we can integrate the two."

All three robots verify a long-held hypothesis that suggests motors can substitute for gravity in passive-dynamic walking devices. A slope is not required, only careful engineering.

Reporters interested in attending the briefing should go to the Taft Room, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C. Please arrive no later than 9:45 am to obtain a badge for admittance. Be prepared to show a photo ID and press credentials.

A companion press release from Cornell University can be found at: http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Feb05/AAAS.Ruina.bipedal .wss.html

A companion press release from MIT, and additional images, can be found at: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/index.html

-NSF-

Co-authors for the paper, "Efficient bipedal robots based on passive-dynamic walkers," are Steve Collins, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan; Andy Ruina, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Cornell University; Russ Tedrake, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT; and Martijn Wisse, Mechanical


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Bipedal Bots Star At AAAS Media Briefing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223142351.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2005, February 28). Bipedal Bots Star At AAAS Media Briefing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223142351.htm
National Science Foundation. "Bipedal Bots Star At AAAS Media Briefing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223142351.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins