We have seen the HyQ robot in the past, where it seemed to be based off the Big Dog robot that has gone through many an improvement ever since we first talked about it in 2008. Quadruped robots might have the speed to move around quickly, but this does not mean that they are the most stable footed robots around. Should the average quadruped robot run into an obstacle, chances are they would just collapse, which is why a bunch of Italian researchers decided to ensure that robots of the future, quadruped or otherwise, should learn not to trip over things like a little kid learning how to walk for the first time.
What you see above is the HyQ, a robotic “stallion” of sorts from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genoa, Italy, and the latest “arsenal” in its development would be learning the “step reflex.” This particular movement or behavior would definitely be familiar to most of us, as it is an action seen in us humans, where we learn to make last minute adjustments to our bodies whenever our toe catches a stair or the curb, ensuring that we do not fall face down and make a fool of ourselves. Hence, it is nice to see the “step reflex” working to a certain extent in the video above, and I am quite sure that when the researchers have perfected it, the HyQ would be quite a beast traversing over various terrain.