Robot Performing A Tightrope Act

This robot is able walk the tightrope (translated). Well, it’s more of a shuffle than a walk, but still a lot better than we could do.

In the video after the break you can see the bot starting on the platform to the right. As it steps out onto the wire (which rides in a groove on the bottom of its foot) the robot spreads its arms to help maintain balance. When the other foot leaves the platform that is the last stride we will see until it reaches the other side. The rest of the act consists of sliding the feet a little bit at a time until it gets all the way across.

[Dr. Guero] has been working on at least one other balancer as well. Also embedded after the break is a robot riding a bicycle. It actually puts a foot down when stopped, and gives a stuttering push-off to get going again. This guy would be right at home riding past you in the hallways of the Death Star.

Tight rope:


[Thanks Lern via Robot Dreams]

21 thoughts on “Robot Performing A Tightrope Act

    1. If the robot itself is an off-shelf item (I could not read Japanese and could not see that explained in the translation) then it would be a hack, but what a beautiful one! It’s a type of a hack that can land you a nice job in a reputable engineering firm.

      1. According to slide in ‘’ (see 1:09),
        his robot was modified a off-the-shelf product. It has 18 servos.
        Bicycle is fully handmaid and no actuator.

  1. They are both really neat! The biker is somewhat unclear – seems the robot can’t start from a stopped position. It appears each segment always starts with the robot riding the bike. Regardless, it’s progress to have a robot ride a bike at all!

  2. I can’t imagine the amount of code here to control this stuff.
    Are some of the actions canned? Is it all programmed?
    Eg., to steer, you have to know how to move all the joints, possibly using IK, to achieve the desired handle bar position. Or maybe you can take some shortcuts… To steer straight, use these settings… to steer left, use these settings.

    Presumably you want the bike rider to follow a path, figure 8, whatever… but you also need to counter-steer to prevent falling over.

    Or maybe there is a big gyroscope inside it?

    In any case, *** WOW ***

    1. It’s definitely impressive, but conceptually not as hard as you first think.

      3 Parts to it. Legs, Arms and Core.
      The legs likely just follow a pre-set patter. With a couple of extra ones for starting and stopping.
      The Arms provide the steering, again but simple pattern, looks like 3 positions on the video.
      The core does the magic, adjust the upper body to keep the centre of gravity over the centre. This is likely the same balance code as the tightrope walking robot.

      VERY cool, but not as hard as it first seems. Though still VERY impressive!

  3. The tight rope walking robot is so darn awesome. There aren’t many folks whm can appreciate the engineering required for projects like this but for those who try … This is brain candy!

  4. Amazing. Especially given the speed/accuracy limitations of servos.

    Hard to understand the technical details. It seems as though Dr. Guero will be publishing a more complete paper at some time in the future.

  5. What’s really neat about the biker bot is it can put its hands back on the handlebars after taking them off.

    It starts with one foot on a pedal and one on the ground, stops by putting both feet down but we never see it restarting after a stop.

  6. This would be great technology to bring forth for planetary rovers. May be able to get a Red Bull or similar type or Sport company to help sponsor such an endeavor. I could just see them mountain biking across the moon or mars….
    Great work Dr. Guero keep going…

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