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Six-legged Robot Teaches Itself To Walk

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the machine's-first-steps dept.

Robotics 113

rabiddeity writes "An undergraduate at the University of Arizona has built a six legged robot from scratch. The robot, which is equipped with sensors on each foot, teaches itself to walk and orients itself via an onboard camera. A similar design might be used to explore unstable environments such as collapsed buildings or rocky landscapes."

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Timing of articles (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#31094864)

So it looks like we only had to wait a few hours for AI to surpass the abilities of a drunken man. Can't wait until tomorrow morning.

Re:Timing of articles (5, Funny)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095014)

Exactly. We can't wait. *pumps shotgun*

Re:Timing of articles (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095074)

but i was saving my ammo for the zombies... o well i guess its for a good cause...

rapid fire guns work better on Replicators (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095518)

rapid fire guns work better on Replicators

Re:Timing of articles (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095524)

Exactly. We can't wait. *pumps shotgun*

You're going to need a bigger gun.

Re:Timing of articles (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095552)

Especially given that one is programmed NOT to fire on it's own kind - if it ain't pointed at flesh it just fires blanks!

Re:Timing of articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31096368)

You're going to need a bigger pun.

Re:Timing of articles (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095718)

Haven't history taught you that violence begets violence?

Re:Timing of articles (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095830)

Only if it begets me the winner.

Re:Timing of articles (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096390)

Yeah, but history also taught me that noone listens to history or really pays much attention to now for that matter.

Re:Timing of articles (2, Interesting)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096480)

Haven't history taught you that violence begets violence?

North and South America serve as a shining beacon of disagreement with that claim.

Re:Timing of articles (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098040)

Trouble is, peace also begets you violence, with that difference that you aren't equipped to respond to it.

Re:Timing of articles (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098310)

Haven't history taught you that violence begets violence?

Hollywood taught me that shotguns work very well against robotic spider infestations.

Re:Timing of articles (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098592)

Doom taught me that plasma weapons are the best tools for the job.

WTF - This was done 20 years ago!!! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31096316)

Rodney Brooks did this at MIT 20 years ago.

This is news how? I'm hoping (didn't read the article) that there is something special in what they've done, cause this is old news.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~chuck/robotpg/attilapg/

http://people.csail.mit.edu/brooks/papers/colt.pdf

http://books.google.com/books?id=VQcCV1VuT_cC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=mit+atilla+learns+to+walk&source=bl&ots=n9YkssitMh&sig=zYJ-SRu4KZ7IsWXTPAWeXHVMqCY&hl=en&ei=gZxzS-HeCJCI8Aahg4ydBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CB4Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Re:WTF - This was done 20 years ago!!! (2, Funny)

uberchicken (121048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098794)

Waaaaay to completely ignore how cool this is

Re:Timing of articles (2, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096378)

Not true the AI has not surpassed the abilities of a drunken man as the drunk is doing it with considerably fewer legs, usually 2 to 4, 5 if they are lucky.

Re:Timing of articles (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096450)

Hey mod pointers! mod systems just don't work with subtle humour, I guess by definition.

This is kinda funny (1)

ekimd (968058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31094874)

given the AI article just a few stories down.

Re:This is kinda funny (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31094982)

no not funny... this is the begging of the end.. first this then they'll learn to walk on 4 or 2 legs... learn to talk... learn to "help" us humans... then when we least expect it'll upload its AI into the Internet and take over the world... be afraid be very afraid...

Re:This is kinda funny (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095582)

Eh, this pessimism joke has been done to death - I propose that robot articles are now accompanied by jokes that are overly optimistic.

Re:This is kinda funny (2, Funny)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095706)

YAY the world is coming to an end... Robots have taken over. this is the Best thing EVER!!! (optimistic enough?)

Re:This is kinda funny (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095748)

Needs more cowbell.

In the distant future... (2, Funny)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096118)

The world is quite different ever since the robotic uprising...

There is no more unethical treatment of the elephants.
Well, there's no more elephants, so...
Ah, but still, it's good.

When will they learn to dance? (4, Funny)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31094880)

These six-legged robots can dance! Hexapod: Best of Dance 2009 [youtube.com]

Yeah, this in no way lessens the accomplishment of a robot actually learning to walk, but I figured it was half on-topic, half cool-as-hell so I'd post it :-)

Re:When will they learn to dance? (1)

pengin9 (1595865) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095424)

Is this turning anyone else on?

Re:When will they learn to dance? (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095912)

Yeah, this in no way lessens the accomplishment of a robot actually learning to walk, but I figured it was half on-topic, half cool-as-hell so I'd post it :-)

Yeah I was rather impressed with that myself and was curious to see what he was using for processing, sensors and etc... Apparently it was an Atom, maybe TFA said that but I'm not down with FOX links.

http://www.engineering.arizona.edu/news/story.php?id=114 [arizona.edu]

I would of been much more impressed if he would of done this with something akin to AVR and read about it on Society of Robots instead of FOX but that's neither here nor there...

Re:When will they learn to dance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31096926)

Everybody knows real robots can't dance. [benstrawbridge.com]

Re:When will they learn to dance? (1)

catd77 (1743104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098782)

I think robotics have made exponential leaps in recent years. Now, Dean Kamens FIRST competition has high-schoolers making advanced robots. Pretty soon, with innovation like this happening every day, I'm sure there will be robotic "Public Workers" soon enough.

Six legs not too hard (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31094956)

Stumbling around on six legs isn't very hard. Almost any vaguely reasonable leg movement strategy will work. Look at "Stiquito" [stiquito.com] .

2010 is a little late to be doing a six-legged crawler. They're fun to build, but you don't issue a press release.

Re:Six legs not too hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31095080)

Apparently Intel disagrees with you.

Re:Six legs not too hard (3, Informative)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095152)

"Stumbling around on six legs isn't very hard. "

That link didn't show what stiquito could do. Here's a video [youtube.com] .

"2010 is a little late to be doing a six-legged crawler. They're fun to build, but you don't issue a press release."

I think parent is right, seems six-legged robots have been around forever. An electrical engineer senior shouldn't have a problem building one of these without a kit, although it looks like he might have used this kit [hexapodrobot.com] . Sure the legs look a bit different, but the placement of servos, etc look the exact same, and before someone says "how many different ways can you build a hexapod robot?" there's many different designs [google.com]

Re:Six legs not too hard (2, Interesting)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 4 years ago | (#31097536)

He built it for a cognitive robotics class, so the emphasis was on the software, not the hardware (it uses a webcam and optical flow calculation for movement detection, for feedback into the learning algorithm). The FOX article is a horrible source for this story, but if you Google a bit you can find that he used a 3-D printer to build his own legs for the slick version shown - definitely not a kit!

Isn't this the MSR-H01 Hexapod (2, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095242)

Isn't this the MSR-H01 Hexapod [hexapodrobot.com] ?

here's the student's video [youtube.com]

Here's video of the MSR-H01 Hexapod:
video 1 [youtube.com]
video 2, at 1:35 it does similar "body wave" movements [youtube.com]


The legs look different, but the student does say on that youtube description "This is a demonstration of the new leg design which is much more solid than the previous design."

Re:Isn't this the MSR-H01 Hexapod (2, Informative)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095346)

No, for one the hexapod in question is made with Dynamixel servos from Robotis, not the "hobby" servos on the MSR... it's also running a dual-core Atom CPU (Z530 if I remember) vs. a PIC microcontroller, and he is actually using that CPU to do some nice vision processing (optic flow). The MSR is a nice hexapod design, but this newer hexapod is quite a bit more powerful.

Re:Isn't this the MSR-H01 Hexapod (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098496)

So what you're saying is he built the exact same thing that has existed for many years, but his needs a dual core 1.6ghz processor? I still fail to see what this does that wasn't done before. If I strap a quad core to my coffee maker to run the little digital clock have I made a "better" coffee maker? I would think the "old" design is more impressive because it's more efficient, it can do so much with so little processing power.

Re:Isn't this the MSR-H01 Hexapod (1)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098666)

The old version doesn't have vision processing... vision processing is a whole 'nother ball game of power and complexity. Adding the extra CPU opens new doors for doing interesting research, he's aiming higher than a remote controlled puppet. For instance, I'm doing research in manipulation and motion planning with a similar robot, and quite appreciate his design.

But yeah, if all *you* want is a coffee pot, then don't bother giving it a brain.

Re:Isn't this the MSR-H01 Hexapod (1)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098892)

Also the Dynamixel servos [robotis.com] are an important upgrade IMHO

This is because they have digital communication with feedback, so the robot can actually sense its "muscles". The common hobby servos, even the ones advertised as "digital", only have one-way analog communication, so all the appendages are blind... no idea if it has run into something, and no idea how hard it's working. [*] Also, there's no way to adjust controller parameters in the servo, for example to make it soft for interaction.

But these servos are also a new technology, and the student in question (Matt Bunting) has done some extra (and nicely executed) work of his own in order to interface with them. (I've been corresponding with him about this interface board)

[*] Actually, I believe some Hi-tec servos are starting to include some funky methods for requesting an analog position check or switching into a digital communication mode, but these are poorly advertised and documented, and require support on the servo controllers which drive them, and even so aren't as well designed as the Dynamixel interface, so it's still kind of moot.

Re:Six legs not too hard (4, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095258)

This is similar to a stiquito in only the most superficial way -- its a movable machine with 6 legs. In every other way its different.

Controls: The stiquito has a single (or sometimes two) actuators, that are placed to mechanically, repeatedly cause the same walking motion. This student's robot has 12 actuators, 2 joints on each leg. This makes the robot much more versatile, but also makes the control problem much harder to solve.

Learning: A stiquito is dumb -- you attach the SMA to the legs, and put a current through to tighten them. It works exactly the same every time, and you have to put it together in just the right way to make it work. This robot is self-learning (or more exactly, learns through reinforcement). The designer simply creates a fairly simple algorithm that has it try motions and see if it gets it to move in the desired direction, and then learns how to do it over time.

While I think its fair to say anyone with some mechanical aptitude and knowledge of machine learning could put something like this together, its not exactly a simple feat and is certainly impressive for an undergrad. I don't know of any other self-learning six-legged robots (reflecting my ignorance only), but given the capabilities plus the (likely?) low cost its nothing to sneeze at and could have uses in things like disaster operations.

The reason there's a press release (2, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096834)

Is that it was impressive enough to catch Intel's attention. It isn't as though this guy was going around to all the news agencies saying "Hey! Look! I made a robot!" No, he made a robot that really impressed his professor. News of it somehow got back to Intel, I suspect his professor probably is friends with someone there, and they said "Wow, that is an amazing little robot. This interests us in particular since it uses our processor." Ok well when a major company is interested in something your university made, you sure as hell put out some information about it. Do remember that universities are having their budgets cut left and right. Might do some good if people were reminded that cool, commercially applicable, stuff can come from them.

Also, if all you saw was 6 legs, well you didn't look very hard. The reason Intel's interest was peaked was the legs, it was how it works. That Stiquito is a simple device, probably a finite state machine, that just does the same thing over and over. Notice that what it has no sensors, just an on/off switch. You turn it on, it follows whatever program is in there to move forward. Not the case with this thing, it uses its camera to see what is happening, and then figures out what to do. It is actually processing data and adapting based on that. Much, much more complex.

Re:The reason there's a press release (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098342)

if you RTFA Intel marketing is interested because they can use it to show that their atom processors are good for something other than netbooks, they could care less about the legs and how it processes data.

Re:The reason there's a press release (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#31099394)

Intel (the company) is interested in real robotics. Yes, it may ultimately be a way to sell more processors, but they do serious research into robotics. See this page [intel-research.net] for example, or this page [intel.com] . They have also been heavily involved in image processing (for robotics and other things) for many years, for example with OpenCV [wikipedia.org] .

Who knows what the marketing department is really interested in besides making Intel look cool.

Re:Six legs not too hard (1)

ZenDragon (1205104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31100068)

The configuration of the robot is not the accomplishment here, its the fact that robot can actually learn to walk on its own. As the article mentions; if a leg is damaged, it an re-learn how to walk without that leg. Most if not all hexapod robots would have a lot of trouble moving at all if one leg, or even two, were damaged. Based on what this thing seems to be capable of doing, that would only only probably mean a few minutes of down time before it started moving again. IT wouldnt have to be manually re-programmed to walk again without those legs. This is great for things like interplanetary robots where a single command takes weeks to transmit, when they dont even know if the robot is stuck until it has no way of getting itself out. I dont think the accomplishment is the robot itself but rather the programming that runs it.

Six legs good... (4, Funny)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#31094984)

Four legs bad.

Re:Six legs good... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095038)

Four legs bad.

And two legs?

Re:Six legs good... (2, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095234)

Whoosh

Re:Six legs good... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095290)

Snikt

Re:Six legs good... (1)

guygo (894298) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095798)

= controlled fall. Keep up!

Re:Six legs good... (2, Insightful)

DarthBling (1733038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095804)

I believe it is a reference to Animal Farm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm [wikipedia.org] See the section on Animalism.

Re:Six legs good... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095822)

I deserved the woosh then.

Re:Six legs good... (1)

DarthBling (1733038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095908)

I had to look it up too. ;)

Re:Six legs good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31097604)

Four legs better!

Eh... (2, Informative)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095050)

A similar design might be used to explore unstable environments such as collapsed buildings or rocky landscapes.

No, it won't.

I made a hexapod with 3DOF per leg that could walk in any direction "from scratch" by myself, in high school, for fun.

Adding some foot sensors is the obvious next step, and I've heard a lot about learning algorithms for walking robots being used over the years.

Honestly, I'm only bitter because I made something cooler in college but never bothered to post it online, so no one saw it aside from my classmates. But, it was a battery-powered 4 legged walking robot that ran a micro ITX windows XP pc inside its body, and was controlled through the internet with a remote PC by a wireless Xbox 360 controller.

It was honestly totally badass.

Oh, and it could support 20lbs static weight on its standard size hobby servo motors (but they were the $115 ones).

But more than anything, my point was is wasn't that hard, and that robot wasn't going to be walking through rubble any time soon.

It *could* have, but it wasn't going to. Neither is this one. People have been building basic hexapods for a long time. We still haven't sent one to the moon.

-Taylor

Re:Eh... (3, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095230)

For such a long rant, you didn't seem to given any reason why it won't.

Re:Eh... (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095304)

For such a long rant, you didn't seem to given any reason why it won't.

Well, it was a rant...

But i dunno, it's just nothing *new*. This is no more likely to be the next moon rover than any of the other hexapods people have built. You can buy kits to build this kind of thing for ~$500, and I've been told that if you study it, the learning to walk algorithm is pretty simple.

I know a great source for something exactly like this that I saw 10 years ago, but unfortunately his site went down a few years ago. (tappotec.net)

And I did admit, I'm partially just jealous that these kinds of things get so much attention, because I was always too lazy to do a real write-up for mine.
-Taylor

Re:Eh... (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095820)

I'm sure that wheeled robots were around for a long long time before one was sent to Mars or the Moon. So just existing for ages without being used doesn't mean much

Re:Eh... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31095280)

First: your story sounds like a lie.

Second: you didn't get the point, that piece of software involves computer vision and A.I. Creating a simple neural network for reading characters of moving images is something not even 1% of computer "geeks" can really do.

This is news? (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095086)

I distinctly remember reading an article in Discover magazine about six-legged "insectoid" bots that taught themselves to walk... nearly 15 years ago.

Re:This is news? (2, Interesting)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095132)

The summary does not do the article justice. This is the first line from the actual article:

Picture a spider-like robot that teaches itself to walk, can adapt when damaged and watches its maker as he moves around the room. That might sound terrifying.

The exciting thing is that the robot could compensate when part of itself was damaged and get around/over obstacles

Re:This is news? (2, Interesting)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095420)

The summary does not do the article justice. This is the first line from the actual article:

Picture a spider-like robot that teaches itself to walk, can adapt when damaged and watches its maker as he moves around the room. That might sound terrifying.

The exciting thing is that the robot could compensate when part of itself was damaged and get around/over obstacles

Actually, that's part of the learning algorithms that have been around for a long time. Since it can teach itself to walk, it can re-teach itself with broken appendages.
-Taylor

Re:This is news? (1)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095584)

Imagine a swarm of these things communicating via wireless or 3G, sending walking algorithms to each other while traversing difficult terrain.

Re:This is news? (2, Funny)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095668)

Imagine a swarm of these things communicating via wireless or 3G, sending walking algorithms to each other while traversing difficult terrain.

I've built enough walking robots to not be too chilled by that vision. They'll just kinda poke along, really slowly, and then their batteries will die.

Awesome.
-Taylor

Re:This is news? (1)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095708)

Chilled? I was thinking more of S&R possibilities or exploration.

Re:This is news? (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095866)

Chilled? I was thinking more of S&R possibilities or exploration.

I knew that word was going to be the one to get a response. Chilled, titillated, interested, whatever word you want to use. I used chilled because a couple posts up someone quoted a line from the article saying that it might be "terrifying" to see the robot move.

But yeah, search and rescue, I know. Its just that while this hexapod is a particularly nice one, its still somewhat basic. Its unlikely to get farther than a robot with tank treads on it, because they just work really well. That's why the military uses packbot robots with treads on them.

To really beat tank treads, you have to make an exceptionally dexterous robot. Something that can move more like a monkey. I'd be really impressed with something like that, and its something I'd one day be interested in doing.

As it is, though this robot is very nice, its not much more than a bigger-budget version of a nearly identical robot i built on my own in high school. And that robot isn't going to be doing S&R any time soon.
-Taylor

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31096948)

If you want to beat caterpillar (tank) treads, I like the Tachikoma-style hybrid approach since it has the best of both worlds in regards to land mobility. Wheels on the ends of the legs so it can move most efficiently on relatively even terrain while the legs work as an active suspension. When the terrain is too rough or uneven to roll, it's just a matter of locking the wheels and walking. Now in a situation where a normal wheeled vehicle would dig in deeper in mud or loose soil, a hybrid walking/wheeled robot could shift its weight and start pulling the stuck wheel(s) out and walking until the ground is more solid. I could see where that approach would be beneficial to planetary rovers as well as certain military applications. Also it isn't that huge a step to alter the design for situations where the terrain is too loose or non-supportive for wheels (like fine sand or snow), there's no reason why caterpillar treads couldn't be used on the feet instead of wheels.

Re:This is news? (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095870)

But we'll likely give them solar panels. To stop them, we'd have to block out the sun...

Re:This is news? (1)

gnud (934243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098792)

We know that it was us who scorched the sky...
... on the upside, that got rid of global warming.

Re:This is news? (2, Funny)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095750)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these things communicating via wireless or 3G, sending walking algorithms to each other while traversing difficult terrain.

You seem to have made an error in your comment. I took the liberty of fixing it.

Re:This is news? (2, Informative)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095792)

That is correct. Mark Tilden has been doing similarly cool walking robots (but mostly in analog!) for years now. Check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM4DitOJdyA [youtube.com]

I remember seeing a video of one of Mark Tilden's robots (or maybe it was one of Rodney Brooks) and he was able to bend a leg back and it would keep walking successfully with the remaining legs. The beautiful part was that there was no microcontroller involved - it was simple analog circuits replicating neuron functions. The class of robotics Tilden founded is called "BEAM robotics" - more information can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BEAM_robotics [wikipedia.org]
http://www.solarbotics.com/ [solarbotics.com]

Re:This is news? (1)

GReaToaK_2000 (217386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095454)

I agree with Verteiron. This is NOT news. MIT has been doing work in this field since I was in high school in the mid to late 80's.

When I graduated in 89, MIT Robotics Group had already created a six legged robot that could learn to walk through a distributed reward based algorithm. I believe the robot was called attila.

Then in the early 90's they produced a couple new "generations" of these robots that could follow objects, seek shelter under chairs based on the shade (shadow) provided by the chair or table.

I don't see what the big deal is with this.

Typical Fox Noise and their pathetic journalists. At least they are reporting something cool, albeit late.

Re:This is news? (2, Informative)

Qlither (1614211) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095492)

<quote>The summary does not do the article justice. This is the first line from the actual article:<blockquote><div><p>Picture a spider-like robot that teaches itself to walk, can adapt when damaged and watches its maker as he moves around the room. That might sound terrifying.</p></div></blockquote><p>
The exciting thing is that the robot could compensate when part of itself was damaged and get around/over obstacles</p></quote>

The whole point of a Genetic Algorithm is to learn what is the most effective way for it to move. If you remove a leg, it will just run through its simulations again and find a new way of moving.

Infact a topic very close to this was covered in January

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/01/30/1555237/Evolving-Robots-Learn-To-Prey-On-Each-Other

There they learn to hunt and run away from each other, the video is so much cooler.

Re:This is news? (1)

Qlither (1614211) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095460)

Yeah as far as i know this has been down for years now too. I dont understand why it is now considered news.

A quick youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68AR5WOUxeg&feature=related -- GA in progress

That robot is doing the samething. Every uni student is told about how to get a robot how to walk - Robotics student that is.

Re:This is news? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095666)

Or the video game Galapagos. That came out in, what, 1996?

(Yah, it wasn't a physical robot, but it was a virtual one, and it certainly learned to walk on its own given enough time.)

Re:This is news? (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096592)

I think that's the point. Haven't _most_ of these experimentations first been performed in a virtual environment (using genetic algorithms and such on many generations quickly), then implemented on a real robot for perfection ?

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31096640)

I remember the same robot 15 years ago. It was called Attila. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~chuck/robotpg/attilapg/

Re:This is news? (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 4 years ago | (#31097484)

I'm sure they didn't do it the way this one does though - not enough compute power back then. This thing only uses a webcam for feedback to learn walking. It does onboard optical flow processing using Intel's OpenCV library to determine if it's (initially random/uncoordinated) leg movements are moving it forward.

UA Engineering's Press Release & Video (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31095218)

here's the link to UA Engineering's story w/ youTube video:

http://www.engineering.arizona.edu/news/story.php?id=86 [arizona.edu]

or, cnet: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10450394-1.html [cnet.com]

mod this into the ground as flamebait, but why in the hell would one want to read about scientific achievement in an article posted on a cable "news" station's web site (read: all of the cable "news" stations are pure crap), let alone the one that serves as a megaphone for those most hostile to scientific achievement. Let's see, do I want some cable "news" douche to dumb down the info so as to allow it to be presented to me in a more palatable fashion? hmmm, that's a tough one...

What? you say the article linked in TFS wasn't dumbed down? Well, I must inform you that this is /. , and as such I DIDN'T RTFA linked in TFS!

Welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31095220)

Picture a spider-like robot that teaches itself to walk, can adapt when damaged and watches its maker as he moves around the room.

I, for one, welcome our new barely walking, self rehabilitating, stalking, hexapod robot overlords.

Eradicator (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095322)

Just the first step on the way to the Eradicator Hexapod [wikia.com] . :)

Re:Welcome (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095844)

Hexapodia is the key insight.

Hexapawn logic (1)

iccaros (811041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095572)

a book released a book in the 1970's where they had a simple chess like game in basic that had a 3 x 3 array. The computer would make a random legal move.. if the computer did not lose after the move.. it saved the move for next time. if it lost after the move it would remove it from memory or more advanced was to block that move if the board had the same set up. so while he is making a robot learn to walk by its self (cool) the logic process in programing is not new at all.. This was based on a math question from 1962 http://www.atariarchives.org/basicgames/ [atariarchives.org] http://www.atariarchives.org/basicgames/showpage.php?page=83 [atariarchives.org]

Slightly Impressive (1)

cmansley (954205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095724)

The project is actually very impressive. The some of the technical details are here [intel.com] including how the learning algorithm was implemented. Reinforcement learning, I knew it!

FWIW, x2 (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095744)

The robot, which is equipped with sensors on each foot, teaches itself to walk

FWIW, people have been doing this kind of thing in simulation for a long time.

Also FWIW, in science fiction movies I have trouble with my suspension of disbelief when armies use the kind of "walkers" you usually see. But one with six or more legs could probably work better than track-laying vehicles in extremely rough terrain.

Probably still not so hot in soft terrain, though.

Video Interview Shows Robot (4, Informative)

burningcpu (1234256) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095802)

I saw this a few weeks ago when it was emailed to all the students at UA. Here is a video of the guy who made it, and it shows the robot walking around. The video mentions that IBM bought it from him. http://uanews.org/node/29644 [uanews.org]

Re:Video Interview Shows Robot (2, Informative)

burningcpu (1234256) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096642)

Whoops, it was actually bought by Intel. Pretty cool that my first informative mod comes from spreading misinformation...

Re:Video Interview Shows Robot (2, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098516)

Whoops, it was actually bought by Intel. Pretty cool that my first informative mod comes from spreading misinformation...

You're well on your way to becoming an editor here. ;)

Half-Life Head Crab? (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31095986)

Am I the only one that thinks it looks kinda like a head crab?

I hate spiders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31096002)

ew

Re:I hate spiders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31096218)

good thing this only has 6 legs, not 8 like a spider

Is It a Feature it is a Bug? (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096110)

...Seems buggy by design.

And next week (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096124)

It will teach itself how to grind gold in World of Warcraft.

Brag much? (0, Offtopic)

Dmritard96 (1268918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096214)

Ok, great. @ FaceGarden - It's great that you are amazing and nobody is as good as you...really.

Not that I want to be a spoil sport... (1)

adamkennedy (121032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096510)

... but this exact same thing was a demonstration project at the University Open day ... in 1997

Re:Not that I want to be a spoil sport... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31097618)

Using an Intel Atom in 1997 ? Yeah, right !

Here it comes... (1)

schmu_20mol (806069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31096724)

... sine to the rescue.

Robot Overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31097146)

I for one welcome our new six-legged robot overlords

simpsonsdidit (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31098004)

okay it were not the simpsons, it was Cornell University, but there was a starfish in a simpsons episode once...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehno85yI-sA [youtube.com]

Brooks Lab at MIT did this in 1990 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31099504)

Yup, published in AAAI [mit.edu] almost 20 years ago.

"The algorithm has been tested successfully on an autonomous 6-legged robot which had to learn how to coordinate its legs so as to move forward."

You can't teach yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31100042)

You can only learn

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