Friday, June 26, 2009

Sarcos humanoid robot learns how to take a shove

We've already seen some of Sarcos' robotics gear put to some slightly frightening use in the form of a military exoskeleton, and it now looks like one of the company's full-fledged robots is getting a chance to strut its stuff as well, with a little help from the folks at Japan's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute. As New Scientist reports, they've developed some software that allows the robot to stay on its feet when its bumped, shoved or even kicked (which makes mere dynamic balancing robots look positively inadequate). The key to that, it seems, is that the robot's joints are never kept rigid, which allows them to give slightly when any of the array of sensors detect the slightest jolt, giving the software a chance to then adjusting the robot's feet as necessary to keep its balance. Not surprisingly, they don't seem to have given the robot the ability to shove back just yet, but you can check out its current capabilities in the video available at the site linked below.

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