ATRIAS, The Bipedal Robot, Keeps Standing Even After You Sweep The Leg

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In what is sure to be one of the videos that our future robot overlords bring up at the trial of Galacicus 5000 v. The Human Race as an example of cruelty against androids, a researcher kicks and pushes ATRIAS, a bipedal robot. The robot, built by researchers at Oregon State University, remains upright throughout the abuse by hopping from one leg to another, essentially repairing its balance on the fly.

The robot is being used to study running and walking in bipedal robots and it is different in that it uses lightweight materials to absorb shock and maintain a spring in its step. The robot can also take on low obstacles and hop on one leg.

ATRIAS’ unusual leg design is central to its agility and efficiency. The four-bar carbon-fiber leg mechanism is very lightweight, softening each footfall instead of sending large jolts to the body. The legs are also mounted to series-elastic fiberglass springs, which act both as a suspension and a means of mechanical energy storage. These features allow ATRIAS to save energy and execute more dynamic maneuvers.

When can you expect to be awoken by the incessant tapping of your own bipedal robot? Not soon given that wheels and other clever locomotion systems seem to work better for human-made pals. However, I can imagine ATRIAS doing his overjoyed terrier/pee dance on missions to dangerous places and other planets… until she gets sick of being kicked.

via Spectrum