Researchers from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) build a robot that can balance itself while running thanks to what they call 'dynamic geometry'. Matthew Stock reports.
This ostrich-like robot is testing the limits of two-legged locomotion. Known as the Elliptical Runner, it was built by researchers from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Florida. Hitting speeds up to 12 miles per hour, it has just one motor to drive both legs. And there's no sensors or computers on board to help keep it upright. Instead, what the developers call its 'dynamic geometry' helps it keep balance while running. When the leg feels resistance it puts more power in to match that resistance and overcome it. The team says it could help inform future bi-pedal robot design to make them more efficient. Robots that are agile like this could eventually be used in situations where it's too dangerous to send a human, such as search and rescue missions.