Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Most accurate robotic legs mimic human walking gait

Date:
July 6, 2012
Source:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Summary:
A group of researchers has produced a robotic set of legs which they believe is the first to fully model walking in a biologically accurate manner.

A group of US researchers has produced a robotic set of legs which they believe is the first to fully model walking in a biologically accurate manner.
Credit: Image courtesy of Institute of Physics (IOP)

A group of US researchers has produced a robotic set of legs which they believe is the first to fully model walking in a biologically accurate manner.

Related Articles


The neural 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 that can be viewed in this video -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnD7LqisBhM&feature=youtu.be.

The biological accuracy of this robot, which has been presented July 6, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Neural Engineering, 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.

A key component of the human walking system is the central pattern generator (CPG). The CPG is a neural network in the lumbar region of the spinal cord that generates rhythmic muscle signals. The CPG produces, and then controls, these signals by gathering information from different parts of the body that are responding to the environment. This is what allows people to walk without needing to think about it.

The simplest form of a CPG is a half-centre, which consists of just two neurons that fire signals alternatively, producing a rhythm. The robot contains an artificial half-centre as well as sensors that deliver information back to the half-centre, including load sensors that sense force in the limb when the leg is pressed against a stepping surface.

Co-author of the study, Dr Theresa Klein, said: "Interestingly, we were able to produce a walking gait, without balance, which mimicked human walking with only a simple half-centre controlling the hips and a set of reflex responses controlling the lower limb."

The researchers, from the University of Arizona, hypothesize that babies start off with a simple half-centre, similar to the one developed in this robot, and over time they 'learn' a network for a more complex walking pattern. This could explain why babies have been seen to exhibit a simple walking pattern when placed on a treadmill even before they have learnt to walk -- a simple half-centre is already in place.

"This underlying network may also form the core of the CPG and may explain how people with spinal cord injuries can regain walking ability if properly stimulated in the months after the injury," Dr Klein continued.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics (IOP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Theresa J Klein and M Anthony Lewis. A physical model of sensorimotor interactions during locomotion. Journal of Neural Engineering, Volume 9 Number 4; 2012 DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/4/046011

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics (IOP). "Most accurate robotic legs mimic human walking gait." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120706013718.htm>.
Institute of Physics (IOP). (2012, July 6). Most accurate robotic legs mimic human walking gait. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120706013718.htm
Institute of Physics (IOP). "Most accurate robotic legs mimic human walking gait." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120706013718.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Bracelet Changes Design With the Touch of a Button

Smart Bracelet Changes Design With the Touch of a Button

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) Interactive jewellery that allows users to change designs and doesn&apos;t need charging. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter's Periscope New Rival for Meerkat

Twitter's Periscope New Rival for Meerkat

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Twitter has unveiled Periscope, its live-streaming app to rival Meerkat and other emerging apps that have captured the attention of the social media industry. Bobbi Rebell reports. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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