Friday, February 18, 2005

Do the Robot

The annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) got underway right here in DC yesterday. Among the innovations on display are a new breed of walking robots. These robots apparently "learn" to walk using "passive-dynamic" principles -- in other words, they harness gravity and the mechanics of motion to make the robot walk instead of complex computer-controlled motors (like Honda's amazing ASIMO). Because they learn to master walking on their own, they swing their arms like a toddler for balance and can even adapt to different surfaces. A paper on this new generation of robots is featured in today's issue of Science, and you can see video of these walking wonders here.


After hearing from some interested parties, here is some more coverage of these robots for those who want to totally geek out

New Scientist

And in other robot news . . . chimps with bionic arms! You may or may not know how much I love primates, but anytime I get to cover them on this blog - I WILL. These chimps are controlling these robotic arms with their thoughts through probes in their brains, which might pave the way for new advancements in prosthetic limbs for humans.


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