Hexapod Robot Has Neural Net Gait Selection

This little six-legged robot has quite a repertoire of gait styles, and, like the Gambler, knows when to walk away and knows when to run thanks to its neural net processor.

Silke Steingrube of the Bernstein Centre for Computational Neuroscience in Göttingen, Germany, and colleagues disdained inflexible walking styles. Blessing their robotic creation with triple-jointed legs with sensors, and a neural net processor that determines the best gait, the determined little hexapod robot can make the choice that leads to the best progress depending on the terrain.


(Hexapod robot walking video)

Using its raft of sensors – which detect foot-contact pressure, light, sound, heat and the robot's inclination – the robot can select the correct gait for uphill, downhill and various types of rough ground. By programming the robot to adopt the most energy-efficient gait possible, the researchers ensured it would switch gaits whenever its incline sensors were triggered. In tests, the robot taught itself 11 different walking styles. "The technique should work equally well in four-legged, six-legged or even wheeled robots," says Steingrube.

It has a flight reflex, too: if a rear sensor detects, say a very high temperature, it interprets this as a threat. "The neural network generates a fast, wave-like gait that is appropriate for running away," says Steingrube.

If the robot gets into difficulty, with a foot stuck in a hole, say, a number of sensors are stimulated. This creates a large input signal, which induces an unpredictable, chaotic output from the neural network, causing it to randomly choose one of its 11 gaits. In other words, the robot cycles through its repertoire until it frees itself.

Robots walk in all kinds of ways. Take a look at this whimsically-titled article for lots of examples: Ministry of Silly (Robot) Walks.

From New Scientist.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/18/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?'' John Cameron, 1991.

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Are you allergic to autonomous robot bees?

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.