Human locomotion has traditionally been a tough nut for roboticists to crack, but the team at Georgia Institute of Technology looks to be doing so in stride with the DURUS, a humanoid (or, rather, three-quarters of a humanoid) ‘bot that has taken to the AMBER Lab’s treadmill like a robotic fish to water.
DURUS replicates human walking in a manner much more accurately than past attempts at robot walking, striking the ground first with its heel and then rolling off and pushing with the toe. The style of walking is new for the robot, who had been jaunting around the lab on flat feet until a week or so back.
The team added a pair of arched metallic feet, which helped the robot get the hang of the whole walking thing after about four days of trial and error. The students marked the occasion by outfitting his arched metallic feet with a snazzy pair of size-13 Adidas.
Georgia Tech’s more efficient walking robot could lead to the creation of new robotic prosthetics and exoskeletons to assist humans who need a little bit of help moving around.