PIGORASS Pneumatic Quadruped Robot
PIGORASS is a pneumatically-driven quadruped robot from the Intelligent Systems and Informatics Lab. Its ABS resin and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic skeleton, 10 artificial pneumatic muscles, and 10 passive spring muscles weigh less than 9 pounds.
(PIGORASS Pneumatic Quadruped Robot video)
What’s interesting about PIGORASS is that its movements are not programmed in advance (as you would with robots using conventional motors), but emerges from the structure of its body and fluctuating signals from each muscle’s neural oscillator using what is called a spinobulbar model. The neurons that individually control each muscle can fire in pairs (alternating between front and hind legs) to perform a kind of gallop, or fired all at once to produce a jumping motion.
Dynamic Motions by a Quadruped Musculoskeletal Robot)
SF fans recall that in the 1953 novel
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury created the mechanical hound, a robot that accompanied the firemen and helped with their work:
"The mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the fire house." [
Yamada homepage and Plastic Pals.
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