Walking Robots

When I was in high schools back in the early 70's I had to excuse myself from hanging out with some neighborhood street friends to view a program on science - one of those "what is the future of science & technology" type of shows, & on this program a man had created a robot in humanoid form that could walk. Even though it could do nothing else ( this was 70's technology) I was rather impressed with its ability to navigate & even walk down the street. I do not recall any remote signaling being used or that the humanoid had any kind of vision. From a distance & even up close it looked just like a human & walked in perfect form.

Today here in the 21'st century I am encouraged & enthused with the progress the Japanese have made with Asimo, the Sony robot & others. But I am some what disappointed that it does not walk more upright. It seems difficult to put all of these functions together at once. Within the last 30 years progress with AI has been very slow, but at least today we have a rudimentary form of a robot.

After seeing the show I thought it would be just a few years before we had a functioning robot. Since then I have always predicted that a functioning robot was just around the corner, but have been proven wrong at every turn. However I do believe that with the near term advances in microelectronics we will have a functioning robot by 2010.


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You'd be bent over too, if you had a 250# battery on your back. It's just physics, and distribution of forces. Every backpacker knows this from first-hand experience.

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dan michaels

You know, often on those shows you only see the edited clips. If it went twenty feet, and fell over, you'd only see the middle 18 feet, and be none the wiser. Often TV shows are "couched" in such a way, they leave you with less than the unvarnished truth. I think the climate comes from the commercials they run, which frankly, present such hockum with a straight face, the TV producers try to enliven their programs just to keep them interesting.

There are many missing pieces before the robots you want become available. Primarily, a reasonable power to weight power source. Then some motors/actuators of lighter weight for the same strength. And as you say, there's something missing from AI that quiter alludes us. No suggestions there. Yet.

-- Randy M. Dumse

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Walking robots today aren't all that hard to do today, as long as you stay below 60cm or so in height. Take a look at "

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". In small scale robots, joint motors derived from R/C servos will work. It's easier today to shrink the electronics than scale up the mechanics.

The hobbyist robots are still undersensored and the control algorithms are usually dumb, but that's changing.

John Nagle

RMDumse wrote:

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John Nagle

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