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STriDER, a Three-Legged Walking Robot

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the they-call-him-tripod dept.

Robotics 105

Roland Piquepaille writes "In a short article, New Scientist reports that researchers at Virginia Tech University have developed a tripedal experimental robot. With its three legs, this robot, named STriDER — short for 'Self-excited Tripedal Dynamic Experimental Robot' — is actually more stable than 2- or 4-legged robots. As said another researcher, 'It's like a biped with a walking stick.' This robot is intended to deploy sensors and cameras in difficult-to-access areas."

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More human than humans (1)

12357bd (686909) | about 7 years ago | (#20733097)

Great, now robots will have also three legs.

Re:More human than humans (1)

TheeBlueRoom (809813) | about 7 years ago | (#20733203)

A White Zombie song? Reminds me of something that would be in Aeon Flux...

Orwells gonna be pissed (1)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | about 7 years ago | (#20734143)

Did they really just say "Two legs good, three legs better"?

Not again...

I for one welcome our new three legged robotic overlords.

Re:More human than humans (2, Insightful)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | about 7 years ago | (#20736453)

I'm not an expert on this - but I'm sure there is a good reason why 3 legged things aren't popular in nature.

Re:More human than humans (2)

Falkkin (97268) | about 7 years ago | (#20744409)

The lack of 3-legged things is an "unintended" side effect of the fact that bilateral symmetry is practically ubiquitous in animals (excepting sponges and cnidarians), and any animal with bilateral symmetry is going to end up with an even number of legs. Bilateral symmetry has many evolutionary "uses" aside from locomotion, so it's fair to presume that an odd number of legs *could* still result in efficient locomotion.

Things with wheels aren't popular in nature either, but that doesn't mean wheels aren't effective for locomotion.

Re:More human than humans (1)

Wite_Noiz (887188) | about 7 years ago | (#20744521)

Things with wheels aren't popular in nature


But I say that they have to just put up with 'em. Uncivilised buggers.

Re:More human than humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20739793)

Just when Minime thought he was something special...

Imagine a googleplex of tripod robots (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 years ago | (#20733123)

Now that would be a sight!

But seriously, flipping 180 degrees with each step? That reduces the useful applications ...

Re:Imagine a googleplex of tripod robots (1)

User 956 (568564) | about 7 years ago | (#20734469)

But seriously, flipping 180 degrees with each step? That reduces the useful applications

Not if the application you have in mind involves BEING COMPLETELY AWESOME, it doesn't.

Re:Imagine a googleplex of tripod robots (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 years ago | (#20734631)

Well, yes, but wouldn't it be more awesome if the tripod robots used three-legged canes to help them walk?

Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733125)

"Self excited"?

Re:Umm... (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | about 7 years ago | (#20733499)

This is /. remember.

Re:Umm... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 7 years ago | (#20734959)

"Self excited"?
Yes, that's why it's three-legged, not two-legged with a nubbin.

old news (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | about 7 years ago | (#20733129)

I have a tape (yes, cassette tapes - remember those?) of a BBC Radio 4 science doc from 18 months or so ago which I taped for the bit where they interviewed Jim Bell & some other MER people, and also looked round the JPL robotics lab; they mentioned this one, and also something called ATHLETE (google it up) and another gizmo described as looking like a robotic spider with multiple articulated arms, intended for EVA work around the ISS or similar structures, whose name I forget. They were just proof-of-concept work at that stage of course, not funded or anything.

Re:old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733973)

So...I have chocolate chip and penut butter. Which cookie do you want exactly?

Oh, come on! (5, Funny)

u-bend (1095729) | about 7 years ago | (#20733165)

"Self-excited?" Tripod? And we're not supposed to make naughty jokes about this?

'It's like a biped with a walking stick.' (2, Funny)

whopub (1100981) | about 7 years ago | (#20733637)

'It's like a biped with a long dick.'

Fixed.

Get your mind out of the gutter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733775)

Besides, everyone knows that sex-crazed robots use tentacles instead of a "third leg" to satisfy their cravings.

GMD

Re:Oh, come on! (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | about 7 years ago | (#20733877)

'It's like a biped with a walking stick.'

That's what she said.

Re:Oh, come on! (1)

thsths (31372) | about 7 years ago | (#20733917)

> 'It's like a biped with a walking stick.'

Or a crutch?

Re:Oh, come on! (1)

stonedcat (80201) | about 7 years ago | (#20736883)

Or on a crotch?

^ Fixed.

Re:Oh, come on! (1)

iNetRunner (613289) | about 7 years ago | (#20735133)

It's a social experiment, you see.


PS. Watch out or you might get a camera in a hard to reach place..

Interesting concept, but... (4, Interesting)

thesolo (131008) | about 7 years ago | (#20733183)

Interesting concept, except that with the way it moves, it can't really walk in a straight line.

Because it swings one leg outward from the rear to the front, it's always going to essentially be side-stepping a width that's in direct proportion to the length of its legs. If it starts in a position like <|, with two legs up front and one in the rear, and then swings the rear leg outward to position |>, the next step has to be to the left or right sides. It could every other stuff in reverse and zig-zag for the net effect of a straight line, but it wouldn't work well for very narrow spaces unless it could dynamically adjust the height of its legs.

Nevertheless, I'd love to see one run at some point!

Re:Interesting concept, but... (1)

thesolo (131008) | about 7 years ago | (#20733275)

That should read, "It could take every other step", not "It could every other stuff". Whoops. :)

Re:Interesting concept, but... (4, Informative)

falconx7 (447933) | about 7 years ago | (#20733619)

It's like flipping an equilateral triangle, it actually only needs the height of the triangle as a width to follow a path. the path it follows, as far as the legs are concerned, is straight. The central body does move in a zig-zag method, but that doesn't matter for navigating tight spaces.

Basically, the directions it travels in are in line with one of it's sides, not in line with the direction one corner is pointing as you were trying to illustrate. Their videos on the article page rather nicely visualized it moving i a straight line.

The main problem I see is that it can't do any turn by a a 60 degree turn. It can travel in 6 directions only... Makes me feel like I'm playing a hex board game...

Re:Interesting concept, but... (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 7 years ago | (#20735323)

The main problem I see is that it can't do any turn by a a 60 degree turn. It can travel in 6 directions only... Makes me feel like I'm playing a hex board game...

Meaning you are prepared for leading the legions of strider-based war machines that are soon to be developed. Bet you never thought hex-based strategy gaming would be relevant to real life, but now you could be a General!

Re:Interesting concept, but... (1)

cyphercell (843398) | about 7 years ago | (#20739391)

screw a flying car, I want 1" miniatures that sit on top of these legs. Oh, and a map where they can move straight.

Re:Interesting concept, but... (1)

Anpheus (908711) | about 7 years ago | (#20739553)

Years of studying the Tao of Chinese Checkers have finally paid off!

Re:Interesting concept, but... (1)

inline_four (594390) | about 7 years ago | (#20747081)

Already done [photobucket.com] .

Re:Interesting concept, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733641)

it can't really walk in a straight line

Not all those who wander are lost.

Re:Interesting concept, but... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 7 years ago | (#20737737)

Strangely appropriate given all the talk of tripods, that your quip should bring to mind 'deep roots'. ;)

A head on each side, with eyes every direction? (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 7 years ago | (#20734223)

And it's worth pointing out that it turns itself upside down every time it takes a step. This would, I think, end up being a real bear of a problem in a practical robot... sometimes the head's on the top... sometimes the head's on the bottom. It also has each of the three sides being the "front" alternately-- so, essentially, it has no front... Still, it's pretty darn cool.

Re:A head on each side, with eyes every direction? (2, Funny)

FauxPasIII (75900) | about 7 years ago | (#20735081)

> And it's worth pointing out that it turns itself upside down every time it takes a step. This would, I think,
> end up being a real bear of a problem in a practical robot... sometimes the head's on the top... sometimes the
> head's on the bottom. It also has each of the three sides being the "front" alternately-- so, essentially, it
> has no front... Still, it's pretty darn cool.

So just put a chaingun on all 3 surfaces and make sure the ammunition feed can handle being inverted. What's the problem?

Re:Interesting concept, but... (1)

hackstraw (262471) | about 7 years ago | (#20734483)

Interesting concept, except that with the way it moves, it can't really walk in a straight line.

When I looked at the video, I thought, "WOW! Thats pretty cool how the body flips like that".

Then, it came to me, that it sucks that the body flips like that. What kind of payload could you have on the thing when every step it took it was flipped upside down?

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see a value added here.

Re:Interesting concept, but... (1)

comradeeroid (1048432) | about 7 years ago | (#20741045)

Camera doesn't really care if it's upside down or downside up. Just flip the image in the viewscreen 180 degrees. Granted, it'll be a bit of bother when the viewpoint shifts some 20 odd centimeters up and down every now and then and the legs might be in the way of panorama. But I can see ways to adjust for that. (one camera per side of the triangle, mounted inside the body and you're done. Three legged recon unit.)

25 years too late (2, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 7 years ago | (#20733189)

Some guy in our neighborhood had one of these. I never saw it. But every time it snowed, tracks made by the 3 legged robot would begin showing up. What was really clever was how he molded animal paws on the feet to improve traction.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733197)

How does it do under gun fire?

Allow me to be the first to welcome..... (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 7 years ago | (#20733213)

Our new tripod overlords. My only question, are they HG Wells-style [wikipedia.org] or John Christopher-style [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Allow me to be the first to welcome..... (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20733303)

Three legged self-excited robot? Sounds like R2D2! [blisterdirect.com]

R2D2 responds (3, Funny)

alienmole (15522) | about 7 years ago | (#20733875)

R2D2 denies being self-excited, and says he only keeps replaying that hologram of Leia for sentimental reasons.

Re:Allow me to be the first to welcome..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733369)

It would be John Christopher. His tipods moved by spinning. HG Wells tripods did not.

Re:Allow me to be the first to welcome..... (1)

Intron (870560) | about 7 years ago | (#20735127)

ITYM Samuel Youd.

Re:Allow me to be the first to welcome..... (1)

geekd (14774) | about 7 years ago | (#20737293)

I loved those John Christopher books when I was a kid.

That was the first thing I thought about when I saw this story.

Thanks for the wiki link. I had no idea there was a TV show and a comic book.

-geekd

Re:Allow me to be the first to welcome..... (1)

Firehed (942385) | about 7 years ago | (#20739477)

I'm counting on the ones from Half-Life 2 (which, conveniently enough, are already named Striders), but I doubt there can be too much difference between evil killer tripods so it doesn't really matter.

ummm, Combine anyone (5, Funny)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | about 7 years ago | (#20733259)

I can't believe no-one made a joke about Half-Life 2 and the Combine's Striders.

I wonder if Gordon is in on this project?

Re:ummm, Combine anyone (1)

CookieOfFortune (955407) | about 7 years ago | (#20733377)

yeah, that's what I was thinking! 3 legged Robot, Strider? Com'n people!

Re:ummm, Combine anyone (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | about 7 years ago | (#20733625)

Maybe it's just that the article a has already taken all the fun out of it by referring to it in it's video.

You know (2, Funny)

Zorbane (1095631) | about 7 years ago | (#20733975)

The article can never take your fun if you just refuse to read it. I mean come on...who needs to know what they are commenting about around here?

Re:ummm, Combine anyone (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | about 7 years ago | (#20735041)

Yet another reason for me to find a way to convince the company to unblock Youtube videos.

Re:ummm, Combine anyone (1)

rpillala (583965) | about 7 years ago | (#20740519)

Computer games? Tchah! In my day, all we had was Aragorn.

Power source? (1)

xRelisH (647464) | about 7 years ago | (#20733261)

I'm curious what kind of practical applications this would have. As another poster mentioned, the robot flips every time it takes a step. This would probably make it difficult to have the power source in the central module connecting the legs as it would be too heavy (unless it was perfectly balanced, which might be a bigger issue).

Ulla! Ulla! (4, Interesting)

The Queen (56621) | about 7 years ago | (#20733305)

JOURNALIST: Quickly, one after the other, four of the Fighting Machines appeared. Monstrous tripods, higher than the tallest steeple, striding over the pine trees and smashing them. Walking engines of glittering metal. Each carried a huge funnel and I realized with horror that I'd seen this awful thing before.

A fifth Machine appeared on the far bank. It raised itself to full height, flourished the funnel high in the air - and the ghostly, terrible Heat Ray struck the town.

Re:Ulla! Ulla! (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 7 years ago | (#20734119)

Exactly my thoughts.
Now I can't get the Moody Blues tune out of my head!

Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733321)

So where are the frickin lasers?

No lasers, no cool.

Oh buzz off !!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 7 years ago | (#20733349)

its Strider from Lord of the Rings lore, nickname of aragorn in around bree land and you know it.

bastardly geeks geekizing all aspects of our culture....







eheehehehe

ATTN SLASHDOT ADMIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733387)

why can i only post twice a day and then it tells me to wait 24 hrs

i didnt do anythin wron.g....

Re:ATTN SLASHDOT ADMIN (1)

triso (67491) | about 7 years ago | (#20734785)

why can i only post twice a day and then it tells me to wait 24 hrs ...
Are you registered? Do you meta-moderate regularly?

Brilliant! (1)

spotlight2k3 (652521) | about 7 years ago | (#20733463)

So they created a male robot.

What (1)

Token_Internet_Girl (1131287) | about 7 years ago | (#20733477)

'It's like a biped with a walking stick.'
4chan is already interested in images, please submit asap.

Glock'n spiel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733509)

How well can it handle a Glock?

Larry Niven, anyone. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | about 7 years ago | (#20733543)

It's a mechanical Pierson's Puppeteer [wikipedia.org] , that's all.

Re:Larry Niven, anyone. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 7 years ago | (#20736027)

It's a mechanical Pierson's Puppeteer, that's all

Actually I was thinking about the story where the Ramans do everything in threes.

Re:Larry Niven, anyone. (1)

mdenham (747985) | about 7 years ago | (#20736887)

Actually I was thinking about the story where the Ramans do everything in threes.
Yeah, if it's shaped like a ball with three legs and three "whips", it's a perfect imitation of the "spiders" from the Rama series.

Re:Larry Niven, anyone. (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 7 years ago | (#20738735)

Actually I was thinking about the story where the Ramans do everything in threes.
Did anyone else read this and think "three packets of ramen, yummy!" :P

Stride... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | about 7 years ago | (#20733563)

Rite...

If it wears shoes???

roland again? (2, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 7 years ago | (#20733591)

You hot-shot computer geeks at /. ought to b able create a new story filter - that permits any story with the string of random letters "Roland Piquepaille" to be filtered out. As a public service, of course. Clearly the Ed's aren't up to the task.

        Brett

Re:roland again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20734185)

Why? He's stopped linking his miserable blog and started linking the real story, which was the beef Slashdot had with him.

Re:roland again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20734347)

Sending weekly links from newscientist.com is quite a career afterall. I'd suggest Roland at least try to use the proper name of the University to which he has referred in his brief and non-technical summary.

Re:roland again? (1)

Inda (580031) | about 7 years ago | (#20741825)

This is the second time I've mentioned this - I wish I could remember the correct answer...

There is a greasemonkey or Firefox extension to filter Roland's stories.

What an amazing discovery! (1)

Warbringer87 (969664) | about 7 years ago | (#20733593)

3 is more stable than 2 or four? Look, there is a point. It's lonely. Two points make a line. Three points make a plane. A fourth point would be restricted as to where it can be placed to stay on the level plane, and bad placement would...."break" your flat plane. Three points always make a flat plane. Four points are not so consistent.

Re:What an amazing discovery! (1)

bronney (638318) | about 7 years ago | (#20737881)

Your style is most intriguing, reminds me of Time Cube.

Re:What an amazing discovery! (1)

Warbringer87 (969664) | about 7 years ago | (#20737955)

Never heard of Time Cube till now.

Re:What an amazing discovery! (1)

bronney (638318) | about 7 years ago | (#20738025)

:) Yeah just the short statements you made reminds me of it heh. Your "points" are completely valid though.

Re:What an amazing discovery! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20743769)

Four points are not so consistent.
That was a weird little analysis -- as the others point out, very Time Cube-y in that it reasons entirely with geometry, without needing any of that messy real-world stuff, like physics. But the planarity ("consistency?") of the points of contact has little to do with how stable the creature is. If the points of contact had to be planar for the creature to remain stable, millipedes -- which have hundreds of points of contact -- would never be able to stand. Likewise, a human may have trouble maintaining their balance on one leg, but a foot-shaped rock, which arguably has the same "non-planar" point of contact, has no problem remaining stable, even in gale-force winds.

A creature is stable if its center of gravity lies within the convex hull of its points of contact, as projected to a "flat" ground plane (i.e. normal to the gravity vector). Since it is easier to maintain your center of gravity within a quadrilateral than a triangle (since a quadrilateral usually has more area than a triangle for creatures of roughly the same horizontal diameter), four-legged creatures are inherently more stable than three-legged creatures.

Since the article doesn't elaborate on the summary's claim that the three-legged robot is more stable than four-legged robots, I can only assume that they meant it is more stable than certain four-legged robots, not four-legged creatures in general.

Men and Women (1)

jrmcc (703725) | about 7 years ago | (#20733633)

Notice in the video where the guy watches with his hands on his hips whereas the girl instinctively reaches out as the device teeters forward? Will we have a whole generation of roboMoms?

Hell of a comparison (4, Funny)

Dirtside (91468) | about 7 years ago | (#20733851)

'It's like a biped with a walking stick.'

Hm, I'd say it's more like a nine-legged dog that's had six legs removed.

Seriously, does he think it's that difficult for people to conceive of something with three legs? :)

Re:Hell of a comparison (2, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 years ago | (#20734943)

That's a pretty crummy analogy anyways. A biped with a walking stick has two primary limbs and shifts its weight to leverage the third assistant limb. All limbs are equivalent in the video, plus the mechanics look inefficient as hell. Swinging the entire body and one limb to take a step? And, a step that's angled away from your intended direction? Bah.

Re:Hell of a comparison (2, Interesting)

slashbaby (261784) | about 7 years ago | (#20737275)

Actually, it looks a pretty efficient way of using gravity to move. It's not much different than how you learned to walk, except that the robot keeps two legs stable instead of your one. In fact, the talking video chick says "this novel tripedal gate is highly energy efficient."

Follow The Freeman !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20733919)

Watch-out! Striders!!!!!!

(So who's goinna develop the headhum....err....headcrabs?)

That would be "Virginia Tech" ! (1)

sraasch (21658) | about 7 years ago | (#20733935)

The school should *NEVER* be referred to as "Virginia Tech University"... ARGH!!! Yuck!!!

--> BSEE, VPI&SU 1987

Virginia Tech (1)

hokiejimbo (751496) | about 7 years ago | (#20733971)

There's no such thing as Virginia Tech University... it's Virginia Tech or Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Correction... (3, Informative)

gnownaym (705075) | about 7 years ago | (#20734023)

The full name of the school is "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University." "Virginia Tech" is an official trademark. "Virginia Tech University" draws angry, red-pen-toting alums.

Just thought I'd let you know...

My 3rd Leg and it's new use (1)

JamJam (785046) | about 7 years ago | (#20734091)

I've got a 3rd leg but it never occurred to me to use it for walking, oh wait....

Re:My 3rd Leg and it's new use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20735325)

I tried to do a backflip and land on my cock.

Now I have a sore head.

I believe the two are related, but I can't remember anything else.

More Stable? Doubtful. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 7 years ago | (#20734147)

I doubt this could honestly be called "more stable" than 2- or 4-legged robots, because during most of its stride, it is hanging off-center-of-gravity by two legs. This might be said to be more "stable" than most 2-legged strides, but 4-legged? I doubt it very much.

Further, each step averages 30 degrees away from the desired direction of travel, so it is a very inefficient walk, as well.

Re:More Stable? Doubtful. (1)

SkyFalling (1115231) | about 7 years ago | (#20735679)

Well, the stability of tripods is pretty well-established. Of course, you'd want to consider stability while stationary and while in motion. There's also a weight ratio to consider -- whatever metric of stability you choose, I bet you can maximize stability-to-weight with three legs rather than any other number.

As another poster pointed out, the stability of three legs has a lot to do with the fact that any three (non-colinear) points describe a plane. With four legs, you'd have to engineer against the tendency of the fourth leg to disrupt the plane and set the whole thing rocking on a linear axis between two diagonal legs.

Stability in motion is a much more complex matter. Think of all the things that can go wrong in the course of walking. The ground can give way underneath you, or move vertically, or move laterally. You can get stuck in the mud. You can trip over stuff. Your feet can slip or bounce (as the prototype in the video seems to have some issues with -- too bad they don't show more of it). And on and on. There's too many possible variations to declare "four legs good, three legs baaaaad" (or the converse) in general. You'd have to select a particular subset of important criteria -- do you want to walk on rubble? Mars? Sand? Mud? Ice? Dodge flying obstacles?

Acronym (2)

Dan East (318230) | about 7 years ago | (#20734299)

I like this one better:

Anthromorphized
Roving
Asymmetrically
Gaited
Off-balance
Robotic
Novelty

Dan East

you want stable? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 7 years ago | (#20734685)

BigDog [bostondynamics.com] by Boston Dynamics is already there.
For those who haven't seen it, watch the video. The part where they try to kick it over is pretty impressive.

The Navy? (1)

wfs2mail.com (794623) | about 7 years ago | (#20735139)

Interesting robot. However, why is this sponsored by the Navy? I could see if it had three fins, but it looks like its a landlubbing robot?

gotta love the reporter's math skills... (1)

deander2 (26173) | about 7 years ago | (#20735801)

The first prototype stands 1.8 metres tall, while the latest incarnation is slightly shorter, at 0.9 metres.

yeah...."slightly" shorter....

IANARS (1)

pablodiazgutierrez (756813) | about 7 years ago | (#20735825)

IANARS (I am not a robot scientist), but given that the body has to rotate 180 degrees with each step, I find it difficult to figure out how it can carry any significant load. It's really cool looking, but I believe that would affect its utility. Big time.

Worthless Video (1)

susano_otter (123650) | about 7 years ago | (#20737155)

That was the most worthless video possible. First, they waste almost half of it explaining all kinds of irrelevant things. "The robot doesn't walk like Hollywood!" Why not just show the robot walking, so we can see for ourselves? Then a whole bunch of step-by-step still imagery showing how a computer model of the robot would appear in different stages of walking. Then, finally, some footage of the computer model walking. Then a bunch of half-assed brochureware footage of the computer model in paramilitary applications. Then, a brief clip of the actual physical prototype FAILING to walk and being caught before it falls over. At the very end, the narrator indicates that NOW we're going to see footage of the physical prototype walking, except that the clip ends right at that point.

Wait... (1)

atomicthumbs (824207) | about 7 years ago | (#20737167)

Where the hell is Gordon Freeman?

Personnaly ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 years ago | (#20737187)

... I welcome our Martian overlords.

Half-Life 2 (1)

Machtyn (759119) | about 7 years ago | (#20737485)

First [themureview.com] thing [csnation.net] I thought of when I saw Strider and tripod in the headline.

... And Jim Henson wants ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738037)

... his puppets from The Dark Crystal back.

Am I the only one... (1)

10Ghz (453478) | about 7 years ago | (#20740219)

Who, instead of thinking about Half-Life 2, thought of The Tripods [wikipedia.org] ?

4 legs (1)

iain010100 (1112417) | about 7 years ago | (#20742643)

This can be done with 4 legs, 2 front legs for stability while the body flips 180 degrees and 2 back legs flip under. This means straight lines, right angles, and more stability.

Interesting (1)

British (51765) | about 7 years ago | (#20743743)

I thought it was an interesting concept, except for the fact the body flips over. That means you can't put a torso above said tripod.

For years we've seen movies & video games show three-legged robots & critters walk around, but you've never seen the mechanics of it. The technical side of me was always curious how it could be done. If you have a standing tripod, the instant it raises a leg, you have an angled(ie not straight like a bipoed) footing for the remaining 2 legs. Add the offset center of gravity(of the body), and it's gonna tip! That moving leg better quickly move forward and plant the foot down. The other 2 legs will repeat the process in some logical order.

The robot in the article kind of chepens it with the center & rear leg doing a swing around. I think with some more research, a more proper way to walk would work that doesn't make the tripod top such an unusuable platform.

no use (1)

doti (966971) | about 7 years ago | (#20747165)

With the body rotating like that on each step, it's no use for bringing me beer.
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