Next generation robotic legs for when the going gets rough (w/ Video)

Aug 12, 2014 by Miles O'brien

Horses and other animals inspire new designs for smarter, faster, more agile robotic legs.

One of the major challenges in robotics is designing robots that can move over uneven, loose or unexpected terrain.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), computer engineer Luther Palmer and his team at the Biomorphic Robotics Lab at the University of South Florida are designing computer simulation models for the next generation of robotic legs, and then building them in the lab. The team studies the biomechanics of animals adept at running on rough ground, such as horses, to program the algorithms that power .

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Credit: National Science Foundation

Palmer sees broad applications for smarter, more agile robotic legs, including that can walk alongside soldiers to carry heavy loads, space-faring robots that run like horses over the surface of Mars, and search-and-rescue robots that can move through a debris field looking for survivors.

Explore further: Researchers develop algorithm that allows robots to walk after legs are damaged or broken (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

OutRunner robot steered to fast track with Kickstarter

May 12, 2014

A startup in Pensacola, Florida, Robotics Unlimited, is turning to crowdfunding for their remote controlled fast robot called OutRunner. Running along, their robot can move up to 20 mph over different kinds ...

Two-legged robots learn to walk like a human

Oct 18, 2013

Teaching two-legged robots a stable, robust "human" way of walking – this is the goal of the international research project "KoroiBot" with scientists from seven institutions from Germany, France, Israel, ...

Recommended for you

Will tomorrow's robots move like snakes?

17 hours ago

Over the last few years, researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) have developed biologically inspired robots designed to fly like falcons, perch like pigeons, and swim ...

Robot Boris learning to load a dishwasher (w/ Video)

Sep 12, 2014

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. have set themselves an ambitious goal: programming a robot in such a way as to allow it to collect dishes, cutlery, etc. from a dinner table, and put ...

Deep-sea diver hand offers freedom and feedback

Sep 12, 2014

Bodyskins and goggles are hardly the solution for divers who need to reach extreme depths. The Atmospheric Dive Suit (ADS) gives them the protection they need. Recently, The Economist detailed a technology ...

User comments : 0