Robot With Human Walk Designed By German Researchers
A few German researchers have succeeded in developing a unique robot that can walk not like a robot, but just like a human. The researchers were inspired by the stick insect. This new robot designed by German researchers comes with ultra light exoskeleton and elastic joints that aid in easy motion. This unique robot is known as Hector.
The unique thing about this new robot is that it has been equipped with quite a lot of sensors. Axel Schinder, professor and head of the biomechatronics research group who built the robot along with a team from Bielefeld University said that they have made sure that the way the elasticity in this unique robot drives it to act is just like how the muscles act in biological systems.
The robot Hector has 18 elastic joints and Hector, through the biologically inspired elasticity of the drives, will be able to adapt easily to the different properties of the surface in which it is walking.
The Professor Alex Schneider feels that Hector would serve as a platform for roboticists and biologists to test animal locomotion hypotheses. It would be a very good example for future engineers to design robots with active use of elastic drives. One of the interesting things that come out of this discovery is that robots can be designed in the future with optimal coordination of the movements with the help of elastic drives.
The Professor says that it is not just the elasticity that allows Hector to walk through a natural environment that has many obstacles. But, there are more challenges in the design of this unique robot Hector.
The main challenge was to develop a control system that would work in unison with the movements and coordinate with the movements of Hector’s legs in all kinds of surroundings, easy and difficult. The research team in Germany has been able to succeed in making Hector walk in all kinds of environments as they have implemented a reflex behavior in the robot for climbing over objects. This makes it to move like a breeze over all kinds of environment.
The German team of researchers said that they are not yet done with their unique robot Hector. They are trying to add a few more things on this robot and have said that by 2017, Hector would be equipped with additional abilities to make him more proficient and this part of the major project of the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC).