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 August 23, 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 August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) UK-based Malloy Aeronautics is preparing to test a manned quadcopter capable of out-manouvering a helicopter and presenting a new paradigm for aerial vehicles. A 1/3-sized scale model is already gaining popularity with drone enthusiasts around the world, with the full-sized manned model expected to take flight in the near future. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
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