These Robot Legs Are Made For, Well, Walking

You can't have realistic Terminator robots without robotic legs that present accurate representations of human gait. University of Arizona engineers have done an amazing job of replicating human leg motions.


(Biologically accurate robot walking legs)

The body is based on principles derived from human muscular architecture, using muscles on straps to mimic agonist/antagonist muscle action as well as bifunctional muscles. Load sensors in the straps model Golgi tendon organs. The neural architecture is a central pattern generator (CPG) composed of a half-center oscillator combined with phase-modulated reflexes that is simulated using a spiking neural network. We show that the interaction between the reflex system, body dynamics and CPG results in a walking cycle that is entrained to the dynamics of the system. We also show that the CPG helped stabilize the gait against perturbations relative to a purely reflexive system, and compared the joint trajectories to human walking data.

Researchers hope that a better understanding of human locomotion will help develop new therapies for disabled people.

Via MedGadget.

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