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MARLO Robot is Learning to Walk on Uneven Terrain

by Shane McGlaun
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It doesn’t matter if you fear a Terminator style robot executioner or an insane “I’ll wear your skull” type of Saturn 3 Hector robot overlord, right now we are safe because robots can’t walk worth a crap. All you have to do to get away from most of today’s robots is walk across some lumpy ground, and they’ll fall over.

marlo-1zoom in

MARLO is a 3D bipedal robot that researchers at the University of Michigan are working on. MARLO has learned to walk over uneven terrain in a method known as 3D walking by using programmed gait styles and then adapting those gait styles to the terrain it is trying to navigate.

“The robot has no feeling in her tiny feet, but she senses the angles of her joints—for instance, her knee angles, hip angles and the rotation angle of her torso,” said Jessy Grizzle, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of mechanical engineering. “It’s like walking blindfolded and on stilts.” The video above shows MARLO learning to walk and getting one-step closer to stalking you through the woods before ripping off your head. At least you’ll have no problem hearing it coming.

[via University of Michigan]

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