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)

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

Future US Navy: Robotic sub-hunters, deepsea pods

Mar 28, 2015

The robotic revolution that transformed warfare in the skies will soon extend to the deep sea, with underwater spy "satellites," drone-launching pods on the ocean floor and unmanned ships hunting submarines.

Festo has BionicANTs communicating by the rules for tasks

Mar 27, 2015

Germany-based automation company Festo, focused on technologies for tasks, turns to nature for inspiration, trying to take the cues from how nature performs tasks so efficiently. "Whether it's energy efficiency, ...

Virtual robotization for human limbs

Mar 26, 2015

Recent advances in computer gaming technology allow for an increasingly immersive gaming experience. Gesture input devices, for example, synchronise a player's actions with the character on the screen. Entertainment ...

Robots on reins could be the 'eyes' of firefighters

Mar 25, 2015

Researchers at King's College London have developed revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs, which could enable that firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital ...

Robot revolution will change world of work

Mar 24, 2015

Robots will fundamentally change the shape of the workforce in the next decade but many industries will still need a human touch, a QUT Future of Work Conference has heard.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.