Getting a robot to walk on two legs is one thing, to have it run is another, and to make sure it can walk briskly without falling down despite being shoved is on a totally different plane altogether. How about another precarious (for a robot, at least) balancing act that will involve more of the number two? I’m talking about this bipedal robot by Dr. Guero (a researcher who has worked at AIST, Boston Dynamics, and Osaka University), where it was built to ride a custom-made bicycle that has been built to scale.
What makes Dr. Guero’s robot special is this – it is capable of riding the bicycle without tipping over, which is to say that it is very human-like in doing so. You won’t find this robot competing in the Olympics or any other high level sports in the immediate future though, as it can only reach speeds somewhere in the region of 10kph. How does it challenge the Segway in terms of balance? Well, it is capable of adjusting its direction automatically in order to maintain balance courtesy of a built-in gyroscope, although it can be manually controlled as well via the old standby, a remote control.
As the bicycle does not come with brakes, this robot will use sheer feet power to stop, but then again that is done so that it can start back up again in a jiffy.
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