Robots walking better and on terrain with more obstacles
Do you remember that video of Boston Dynamics showing robots stumbling on banana peels and having difficulty walking on difficult terrain or obstacles? Soon, it seems that even this will not be a problem.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center is working on a technology that allows machines to walk as carefully as humans. The name of the robot is Valkyrie.
Valkyrie can walk on loose pieces of concrete without falling, calculating each step very well, as seen in the video below. The process is still a bit time-consuming, but well executed.
Walking for Success
The secret lies in LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging sensors, which detect the reflection of light to know the distance of an object). They find flat regions where the robot foot can accommodate and create a path according to the destination selected by the machine operator.
IHMC Robotics, which controls the unit’s brain, says functional bipedal robots are the team’s biggest challenge today. They should be widely used in the future to access remote locations or even for space exploration – or in machine domination if you believe in this apocalypse scenario.
For now, Valkyrie is still slow and needs many strands to walk. However, the evolution is remarkable: a few years ago, the model only knew how to stand with only one leg and walk on smooth surfaces.
Sources: MOTHERBOARD/BEN SULLIVAN