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First Dynamically Balancing Biped Robot

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the mister-rossum-on-line-1 dept.

Robotics 155

damg writes "Anybots, which is three guys led by Trevor Blackwell, has developed the first robot that walks like we do, by dynamically balancing itself rather than being pre-programmed for walking like Asimo. The video shows the robot walking and being pushed by another 'bully' robot to demonstrate that it can't easily be pushed over."

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155 comments

Oblig (5, Funny)

GeePrime (831254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176650)

I, for one, welcome our new dynamically balancing robot overlords

Re:Oblig (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176974)

I, robot, for one, welcome our new bully robot overlords.

Re:Oblig (1, Funny)

charlieman (972526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177626)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of those!

But... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177902)

Can it find Sarah Connor?

</ObFarkism>

He can walk the walk (5, Funny)

Null Perception (914562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176654)

But can he talk the talk? I didn't think so. Move along, nothing to see here.

Re:He can walk the walk (4, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176806)

C3PO: "Oh, R2D2, don't be jealous because *I* can walk. (robosnicker)"

...R2D2 pisses oil all over the floor, watches as C3PO slips and falls on his shiny metal ass; R2D2 emits a sound suspiciously like Nelson from Simpsons "ha ha".

Re:He can walk the walk (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177972)

C3PO: How rude, you insensitive droid!

Re:He can walk the walk (1)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178156)

First to "dynamically balancing itself"?

I thought Segway http://www.segway.com/ [segway.com] was the first.

Re:He can walk the walk (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178182)

Segways don't exactly walk - they roll. Though I guess there is a similar principle, this is a two-legged robot, not a motorized machine.

Re:He can walk the walk (1)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178226)

You are correct from a technical standpoint, but the notion that a robot (which I believe Segway is) autonomously balancing itself is a breakthrough of some sort pales because Segway did it first, albeit in one dimension.

Re:He can walk the walk (1)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178922)

Even the title specifically mentions bipeds. And the Segway was certainly not the first inverted pendulum to be controlled. It was just the first to make it into a stupid roll along machine to ride on.

Re:He can walk the walk (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178490)

Keep in mind that in order for something to balance itself, it has to shift it's weight, and stay upright, including against opposing forces.

Awesome (0, Redundant)

scoot80 (1017822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176658)

I want one!!!

Walks like we do? (5, Funny)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176662)

Hmm, so, it walks like we do?

Gets out of bed, goes to the fridge, pulls out a soda and pours a coffee, then sits at the computer for 12-20 hours stopping only to walk to the door to receive food deliveries, go to the fridge to get another soda, and to the bathroom to remedy the situation that the previous two types of activities has caused?

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176788)

That is just you. The rest of us are actually rich and retired (of course, we took major hits at the stockmarket, but hey). So we get up and do the blonde next to us and then have the maid take care of everything. Or is that just my fantasy?

Re:No. (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177232)

of course, we took major hits at the stockmarket, but hey

      I sold short, you insensitive clod!

Re:No. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178076)

If you sold short today, you made out like a bandit.

-jcr

Re:Walks like we do? (3, Funny)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176840)

Hmm, so, it walks like we do?

Well, it doesn't walk like I do, but it walks a hell of a lot like my dad does!

It's like falling and missing the ground (4, Informative)

chriss (26574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176670)

This is ways more impressive than you'd guess from the video, which doesn't look much different from all the other walking biped robot video (it's less shiny than most). Since this always pops up [slashdot.org] and always has to be explained [slashdot.org] :

not dynamically balanced:
When the robot (e.g Asimo) moves, it's center of gravity is ALWAYS above the foot it is standing on. As a consequence, the robot could freeze at any moment without falling. Humans can walk that way, but it's slow.
dynamically balanced:
The center of gravity is not above the foot, basically it's falling forward, the motion cannot be stopped without falling. Much faster to move, much harder to calculate. Anybots managed this, which makes their bots a great achievement. We move this way.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (0)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176804)

Actually, I think its stability is more due to being held up by the clearly visible cords. Remove those, then let me see him balance.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176866)

LOL - we're on completely different planes. I thought, "Wow, it must be hard to make that robot balance with that wild, unpredictable air/power line swinging around."

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (2, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177064)

Its hardly used for support. Most robots use the cord for debugging output and to collect related data while the robot is moving.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (-1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177154)

Kinda like how the man behind the curtain is just a repairman, don't pay any attention to him?

I'm just saying, if the video is supposed to be proof of its success, they need to make it *clear* it's not getting any help, and visible supports kinda take away from that.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177340)

The video is proof of success, and they are already making it clear its not getting any help.

How about you reading some more, looking at some more robots-in-lab videos, trying to understand the concept of 'work in progress', and learning about 'data feed/debugging'? Come back after that, in stead of farting in our general direction?

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (3, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177346)

Watch the video again. The cords are hanging loosely and jiggle when it moves. If they were supporting him, they would obviously be taut, like an actor hanging from a wire or a kid on a swing. It makes plenty of sense for the cords to be there to provide power and transmit/receive data. Without the added weight of a battery and computer, they can work on getting the mechanism to work first, then work on getting it to work untethered under heavier weight loads later.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177380)

Those cables are used for power and data.

You also may have noticed a mobile frame on casters that surround the robot. Most of the time, I'm sure they connect this robot to a harness so it doesn't fall down. We're not talking about pride here. When your robot falls and breaks something, that shit gets expensive!

Basically, this is like a child riding a bike with training wheels. Just because they are there doesn't mean they're being used all the time at that given moment.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177078)

To me, it seems the robot has bigger brain than you. You don't know anything about robotics, do you?

I, for one, now seriously welcome our young but not stupid dynamically balancing biped robot overlords.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (5, Informative)

jkuff (170923) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177012)

This comment is spreading misinformation.


ASIMO _absolutely_ dynamically balances. I have one in my lab at CMU and have worked with walking humanoids [kuffner.org] for years.


First of all, static stability means the center of gravity (CoG) is inside the base of support (the convex hull of the ground contact points).


Dynamic stability is much more difficult to analyze because it involves stability over time. The velocities of any moving parts of an articulated body induce linear and angular momentum that can result in a dynamic stability over time _without_ having any of the intermediate poses being statically stable.


The center of gravity absolutely _does not_ always stay above the support leg for ASIMO. If you try to freeze his pose during the middle of a step it will fall over.


Instead, ASIMO is controlled to keep the Zero Moment Point (ZMP) always inside the convex hull of the contact points. The ZMP (related to the Center of Pressure) is the point on the contact surface where the sum of all torques (moments) is zero. For a given walking trajectory, if the ZMP always stays inside the base if support, then the walk is dynamically stable.


There have been numerous humanoids that use the ZMP formulation to control and maintain dynamic balance while walking (e.g. Honda P2, P3, ASIMO, U. Tokyo H6, H7, AIST HRP2, Waseda Wabian 1, 2, KAIST Hubo, Toyota Partner Robots, Sony QRIO and many more). ALL of these robots are dynamically balancing and are definitely NOT statically stable.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177148)

I'm even pretty sure I've seen video of a person pushing an Asimo and it reacted just fine. Even taking a step backward so that it doesn't topple over.

It might've just been a dream tho.

Yes, not the first dynamically stable walker. (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177284)

Kuffner (above) is right, of course. Dynamically stabilized walking has been around for years. It's not easy to do, but it's been done. Raibert first did it in the 1980s. See his book, "Legged Robots that Balance".

Most of the self-balancing walkers, as Kuffner points out, use a ZMP-based approach. This works for walking, although it's not quite enough for effective running.

Many of the dynamically balanced robots can rebalance after a shove. BDI's Big Dog can. [bdi.com] So can some Japanese hobbyist robots.

If you're not up to date on how far along Japanese hobbyist robotics has progressed, see these videos of this month's humanoid robot soccer match [robots-dreams.com] . These robots are mostly manually controlled, but have computers managing some functions. Many have rate gyros to assist with balance. Gradually, the computers and sensors are taking over more of the control. The hobby robotics manufacturers in Japan now have about 70% of the functionality of Asimo at 2% of the price. There are hobbyist robots with WiFi links and cameras on board. A few more improvements and you'll be able to do all the Asimo stuff with a $1500 robot. But it will only be about 60cm high.

Re:Yes, not the first dynamically stable walker. (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178088)

Was it Raibert that built the pogo-stick robot? I seem to remember seeing that on Nova or some show like that in the early 80's.

-jcr

Re:Yes, not the first dynamically stable walker. (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178264)

Yes. He founded the Leg Lab at Carnegie Mellon, and later took it to MIT where it got even more famous. Then he left for Boston Dynamics, which created the "big-dog" robot that has been on slashdot. Gill Pratt continued the MIT Leg Lab work on force-based actuation and dynamic walking for some time after that.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (1)

vectra14 (470008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177546)

I'm glad to hear that someone has said it. Yes, this is by far not the first dynamically balancing robot; and in this case, to be honest, i'd probably wait a bit and improve the bot's look/performance before announcing anything.

The Sony SDR 4X/QRIO has one of the more impressive ZMP implementations that i've seen in a while. Too bad that the project got killed.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177604)

I don't know what this project does differently than ASIMO, but it seems to do it a lot more fluidly and quickly than ASIMO does in all the videos I've seen.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178434)

You're right.

In this video [youtube.com] , it's mentioned that both of ASIMO's feet leave the ground for 0.08 seconds. If that's not dynamic balance, I'm not sure what is.

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (1)

MBHkewl (807459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177672)

I don't throw myself forward/backward to walk o_0;

Re:It's like falling and missing the ground (1)

archmedes5 (106202) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178594)

Actually you do, you just don't notice it.

Damn it.... (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176686)

Time to get some Old Glory Insurance, my friends.

Oh Noooo! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176720)

Corn_Boy - where is my friend robot!

Lowtax - PAK CHOOIE UNF

HE CANNOT CANNOT USE ICQ NOW HE HAS GONE DOWN THE STAIRS

PAK CHOOIE UNF

Corn_Boy - nonono is he alright robot!

Lowtax - PAK CHOOIE UNF

I AM NOT A ROBOT OF THAT TYPE TO EXAMINE

DATA: TO PROTECT FROM THE TERRIBLE SECRET OF SPACE

DATA: SHOVE

PAK CHOOIE UNF

Corn_Boy - call an ambulance robot!

Lowtax - PAK CHOOIE UNF

I CANNOT DO THAT

PAK CHOOIE UNF

Corn_Boy - is there a medicall robot there?????

Lowtax - PAK CHOOIE UNF

QUESTION: DO YOU HAVE STAIRS IN YOUR HOUSE?

PAK CHOOIE UNF

Just watched the video and it... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176744)

Looks like these robotics enthusiasts had a fair bit of free time on valentines day to put together the video demonstration :)

Re:Just watched the video and it... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176898)

Maybe they are working towards one of these:
Japanese Fem-Bot [youtube.com]

Re:Just watched the video and it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176926)

But can it.... oh never mind...

Re:Just watched the video and it... (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177050)

I saw one of those thirty years ago, only this one was wearing an Abraham Lincoln costume.

Oh yeah, but can it... (-1, Flamebait)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176748)

...ride a BIKE?

So what? (3, Funny)

Garridan (597129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176752)

I figured that out like, 20 years ago! Kids these days are reaching a new low. They can't even figure out how to walk without some dumb robot to teach them!

Bully Robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176754)

Does he ask you to stand by the stairs so he can protect you?

Fine, so he wasn't pushed over (4, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176802)

Let's see a robot deal with handing over his lunch money or threats of a wedgie. Then we'll have something!

Re:Fine, so he wasn't pushed over (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177388)

Pfft. I'd be too busy laughing at the 'bully' for having a Segway for legs.

Cool (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176820)

I immediately noticed a striking resemblance between how this robot was learning to walk and how my grandson, now 10 months old, makes regular attempts to also solve this problem for himself.

Way cool.

Re:Cool (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177162)

This robot is cheating by starting out at a standing position. Figuring out how to get from crawling or lying down to a standing position is probably the hardest part of walking, as any baby can tell you, Including my 9 month old girl.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177410)

Set her next to the couch.

Re:Cool (1)

Nappa48 (1041188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178888)

Your 9 month old girl can speak those words?
Holy crap they get smarter by the generation!

This is cool... but the claim of "first" is untrue (5, Informative)

jkuff (170923) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176824)

This is a cool robot, but the claim of being the first "dynamically balancing robot" is an overstatement. There have been many dynamically balancing robots before, the most famous being Honda's P2 unveiled in 1997. After that, there have been dozens of walking and dynamically balancing humanoids.

What I think the story _should_ point out that is very impressive is:

1) The robot uses pneumatic actuators, which are notoriously difficult to model and control. Almost all of the current dynamically balancing and walking humanoids use electric motors (e.g. ASIMO).

2) Anybots claims to have some "learning" in their controller. Although they don't have any papers about what they are doing, perhaps they are using some clever statistical modeling and feedback to adaptively control and regulate the robot's stability.

BTW, I had a chance to meet Trevor Blackwell a few years ago when he visited my lab. He is definitely a talented engineer with a vision for the future. Several years ago he made Slashdot when he announced his homemade Segway:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/ 28/1756241 [slashdot.org]

From my point of view, any interest by hobbyists and industry in humanoid robotics in North America is great for the field of robotics research.

Walk before you run (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176962)

The article claims that this is different from ASIMO in that it is unprogrammed. Perhaps this means that the feedback from the gyro is used more directly?

In any case, this certainly looks like my friend getting over hip replacement surgery. I wonder if one application would be in working out better models of physical therepy. Give the robot the same change in leg length and muscle weakness, see how it compensates, then have the patient imitate. The recovery buddy?

Walk with Sun Dexter! http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

Throw away your wheelchair (-1, Flamebait)

aphor (99965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176826)

The real application of this for money now is to replace the wheelchair with something that can negotiate stairs. So, in a not too distant future, Iraq war vets lacking legs/feet can rent apartments without ADA ramps.

Re:Throw away your wheelchair (0)

K'Lyre (600056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177018)

Yay. An Iraq war reference. Slashdot never fails. Not every topic of conversation has to lead to talking about disabled war veterans. Or maybe it does.

Dexter and Big Dog (4, Interesting)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176852)

This is obviously a great advancement with enormous potential. But apart from aesthetics I would have thought four legs more practical than two in many circumstances.

DARPA (the US military research folks who helped bring us the Internet) is currently funding Big Dog [wikipedia.org] which I think is has far more potential, because however you calculate it, a quadruped has to have more stability than a biped. Though, in no way do I wish to detract from the achievements of Dexter.

See Big Dog in action here [youtube.com] .

Re:Dexter and Big Dog (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177748)

Folks, if you want to see cool robotics, check out that video. Nearly every robotics achievement always seems to blah when you finally see what these robots can do. Yes, on a technical level, we've made a hell of a lot of progress (I've never managed to make a robot dynamically walk more than 2 or 3 slow steps myself, so I can appreciate just how hard this is), but on an asthetic level, they look so.. robotic. Even Asimo leaves something to be desired.

Check this BigDog video out, it's quite amazing. It looks as close to a real animal as anything I've ever seen. Watch how it reacts when the guy tries to kick it over!

Re:Dexter and Big Dog (1)

drix (4602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178190)

The two slow-mo clips of the guys kicking the robot remind me strangely of this [youtube.com] . Ahh, nerds.

Re:Dexter and Big Dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177754)

Makes sense ... 4 legs good 2 legs bad

Re:Dexter and Big Dog (1)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178480)

Ah! That robot is scary! Why does it have to look like two skinny guys in skintight pants have their torsos stuck in the chassis? If there are two guys in there, why are they making that awful two-stroke engine sound?

Fascinating (3, Insightful)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176888)

Watching the video, I couldn't help but notice that this lacked arms. It strikes me as rather odd to see this, because arms are one of the key features of human balance, but then again they do make for more variables.

Regardless, this is excellent to see.

Re:Fascinating (3, Informative)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177306)

arms are one of the key features of human balance, but then again they do make for more variables.

Yes and no. You could probably walk or run perfectly well around your house if your arms were completely limp at your sides, or tied tight behind your back, or bound to your sides somehow.

Arms CAN improve balance by shifting your center of gravity quickly, but they're absolutely not involved in locomotion.

Re:Fascinating (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177870)

Well, you're sorta correct about all that. But try running full speed without the use of your arms. It doesn't take much to make you lose balance.

I just wrote off the missing arms as unnecessary to help balance the baby steps the robot was taking.

Re:Fascinating (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178346)

Perhaps it will run around without arms, singing: "C'mon, c'mon.. dooo the locomotion with me!" :D

Then we could perhaps run the following scenario:

1. Create singing, dynamically balanced bot
2. Name it the "Kylie bot"
3. ?!?
4. Profit! :P

Re:Fascinating (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177926)

Watching the video, I couldn't help but notice that this lacked arms.

I was more freaked out by the lack of hair, but I think that's just my fear of bald men acting up.

- RG>

Looks like a precursor to the Terminator (1)

alchemist68 (550641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176896)

This self-balancing robot resembles the Terminator in many ways, except or course, that it can't chase me, and it doesn't have any arms. I suppose that swaying arms might actually improve balancing once it can walk faster with longer steps. Interesting work...

Interesting. (0, Offtopic)

wframe9109 (899486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176908)

Ahh, the difficulties with extremely simplified simulation of the cerebellum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebellum). This is why I laugh at all the posts that crop up in neuroscience threads about emulating the brain/conscience.

Rather off topic, but do any of you know any good sources for the current developments in neuroscience, brain and cognitive sciences, and other related fields? I studied this in school (graduated in May) and am shifting to a new field, but would really like to keep abreast of everything.

Asimo's walking motion seems more natural. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176918)

Asimo has much smoother and natural walking motion no?

Re:Asimo's walking motion seems more natural. (3, Interesting)

K'Lyre (600056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177056)

Smoother? Yes.
Natural? Not in the least.

Asimo doesn't walk like we do. Dexter (this new one) looks like a 10-month-old trying to learn to walk. A robot built to walk in the same vein as Asimo will never be able to walk as easily as a human does. There's way too many variables that would have to be hard coded in (as Asimo's programming is).

Re:Asimo's walking motion seems more natural. (1)

Milosch1 (969372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177510)

True. I think the goal is to be able to make it over rough terrain and step over rocks rather than having to crush them under the weight of the robot. Then you can start attaching weapons and send them in. Dexter, keep your head low.

What I'd like to see... (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176956)

I want to see that segway-footed bully bot push an asimo around, preferably down some stairs [gizmodo.com] .

Competition (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176968)

Microsoft is coming out with a robot that throws chairs.
           

Re:Competition (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177178)

Microsoft is coming out with a robot that throws chairs.

      No word from Mr. Ballmer yet if he's going to sue for patent infringement or not...

Re:Competition (1)

loonicks (807801) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177820)

It's even easier than that: 10 PRINT "developers " 20 GOTO 10

Re:Competition (1)

Mikkelin (945622) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178854)

In Soviet Russia, robot chair throws Steve Ballmer.

Re:Competition (1)

Nappa48 (1041188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178948)

Oh how i lol'd, and cried.

What actually happened with that anyway? Was it over that guy moving to Google or something? b

Terrible Secret. (2, Funny)

Bo'Bob'O (95398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177026)

Fortunately Shover Robot is there to save him from the terrible secret of space.

Re:Terrible Secret. (2, Funny)

pappas.chris (1049134) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178552)

... I will push grandma outside into the snow... I will push snow on top of grandma... grandma is protected... grandma has gone down the stairs... I am the pusher robot, our mission is complete

Bots getting dizzy (1)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177142)

Not sure why I thought of this and I have no experience with dynamically balanced robots...but...

If the gyroscope and such balancing mechanisms are so incredibly sensitive, perhaps it's possible for the sensors to get overloaded from very fast movement and the robot would lose his balance. In essence, he would get dizzy.

At this stage, I doubt you could call the robot falling in the video getting dizzy...but still, it's food for thought.

Re:Bots getting dizzy (1)

Nappa48 (1041188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178980)

Hmmm, in theory it is possible, but being a computer, its probably got lots of yummy code ready to fix "dizziness" if it ever does happen. And if not, then its probably a good idea if they were to, even know i doubt it would get dizzy from moving too fast, but it could be good research for the future!
Yes, the future, when we are all connected in a big machine, being used as a battery. yay.

Pusher Robot (5, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177170)

I like that they seem to have built a whole other robot for the sole purpose of pushing the walker robot.

Though I suppose it's necessary to protect these new inventions from the terrible secret of space.

Re:Pusher Robot (2, Funny)

redstar427 (81679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177562)

Initially, they just used a lab intern to push/bully the robot.
After dozens of "tests", the first robot declared war on the human race, and had to be burned!
It was determined that building a Pusher Robot, would save lives and money, and therefore built.

For those who don't know the reference (3, Informative)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178016)

There's been several comments related to pusher/shover robots, the terrible secret of space, and "pak chooie unf". For those who don't know what these refer to, see the ICQ prank that started it [somethingawful.com] and the flash animation/song [devilducky.com] inspired by it.

neato... (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177226)

reminds me of a young forrest gump for some odd reason.

Obligatory (0, Offtopic)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177258)

But can it run Linux?

cool, but way not first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177272)

The MIT Leg Lab [mit.edu] has been doing this [mit.edu] since the early 80s.

It's the FIRST walking robot (1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177348)

Except for all the other first walking robots that came before it. Oops.

Check out this video:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y6MUXv9wEcI [youtube.com]

It's an MIT robot doing something more than the white-boy shuffle in a lab. It's running across a grass lawn at a pretty good speed.

This shuffle-bot looks like it'd make me a nice cup holder, and that's about it.

What, no arms? (3, Interesting)

jhfry (829244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177422)

Isn't dynamically balancing easier to do with arms? Not to mention, they allow you to move faster and they can catch you if you fall.

I'd bet it would not be too difficult, certainly not easy but compared to their work to this point it'd be trivial, to add some arms and significantly improve the robot's ability to walk... perhaps even jump and/or run... they could even have it catch itself if it falls.

Re:What, no arms? (2, Informative)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178772)

I think running and jumping robots are quite far away. The problem is that modern mechanical actuators can't efficiently generate the kind of power (force times speed, equivalent to energy per unit time) needed for a jump or a sprint. You could get a jump with springs coiled by a slower drive-train, but that kind of explosive, uncontrolled release would not be coordinated.

At this point a shuffling jog is a (serious) programming challenge, but for a running or jumping robot you would need physical technology that we don't have.

It can run on the ground... (0)

daedaldrop (1069510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177476)

..but we at ./ are more concered with: can it run on Linux?

But What's the Deal... (2, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177556)

...with those *shoes* the robot's wearing? Can't he at least lace them up?

Walking? (1)

TheSexican (796334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177592)

It looks more like a Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth style shuffle than a true walk. It would probably be much cooler if it had on a pair of slippers, though.

Urgh (2, Interesting)

Fred the computer (607759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177998)

Despite my best efforts, I cant help but apply human characteristics to Dexter the robot. I notice he (dammit! it..) has a rather ugly face, thus i'm naturally repelled by it. Stupid human brain, this is a wonderful demonstration of advanced robotics! Appreciate it! Its interesting though, logic telling me this is quite interesting, unconscious judgment saying ewww. Anyone else think along the same lines?

The video was cool, but.. (1)

openaddy (852404) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178074)

after reading the summary, I was expecting it to be pushed while it was walking. Instead it was standing around like a little punk while the other robot was trying to pick a fight or something.. "Yeah, biatch. What you gonna do about it, huh? Huh?" Pretty cool video, though.

Not so impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18178096)

I can walk AND chew gum at the same time. Forward the human hegemony!

the next logical step. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178100)

Mr. Blackwell couldn't be reached for comment. A source close to him mentioned he was meeting with KITECH's creator of EveR-1, Baeg Moon-hong in San Marcos, CA with Abyss Creations, manufacturers of the Real Doll. While dumpster diving in Mr. Blackwell's refuse, multiple pages were found about a secret project code-named: C.H.E.R.R.Y.2000.

you would think that.. (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178176)

having untied shoes on his feet would mean they would flap around making it harder for him to walk properly.

Standing up (1)

Skywings (943119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178254)

Glad to finally see a robot with a bit of spine and standing up to bullies. I wish I had such a (role) model when I was a wee lad.
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