Toddler to be demonstrated at AAAS meeting Feb. 17
The MIT learning biped. This robot uses a reinforcement learning algorithm to learn to walk in less than 20 minutes, or about 600 steps.
Dr. Russ Tedrake, far right, watches proudly as his "Robo-Toddler" walks and passersby watch at the Whittaker building at MIT. photo: Donna Coveney/MIT
Three independent research teams, including one from MIT, have built walking robots that mimic humans in terms of their gait, energy-efficiency, and control. The MIT robot also demonstrates a new learning system that allows the robot to continually adapt to the terrain as it walks. The work, to be described in the Feb. 18 issue of the journal Science, could change the way humanoid robots are designed and controlled and has potential applications for robotic prostheses. It could also aid scientists understanding of the human motor system.
Developed at MIT, Cornell, and Hollands Delft University of Technology, the three robots are all based on the same principle: they are an extension of several years of research into "passive-dynamic walkers" that walk down a shallow slope without any motors. Passive-dynamic walkers were inspired by walking toys that have been around since the 1800s.
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