ATRIAS has just taken its first steps outside on grass, marking an impressive achievement for this university robotics project.
Built by Oregon State University, ATRIAS is a bipedal robot whose name in jest stands for “Assume The Robot Is A Sphere”. It’s an old physics joke really, which describes how any complex scientific model can be reduced to its simplest form in order perform calculations — but
sometimes (always) makes its application in reality a challenge…
We’re sure you all remember BD’s Big Dog and its impressive ability to throw freaking cinder blocks — but remember, it has four legs and a tail — or is it a trunk — an arm? ATRIAS on the other hand is a true threat to humanity and our unique ability to walk around on two legs. And the mechanism they made for it is pretty damn clever.
In simplest terms it uses a spring-loaded inverted pendulum to balance — and walk.
The beautiful part of a system like this is efficiency. Like what regenerative braking does for electric car efficiency, the springs reduce the amount of energy required during movement, just like how our own muscles use tendons and tissues to conserve energy by being springy. There’s a full explanation of it by the team over at Machine Design from a few years ago.
Anyway, here’s ATRIAS taking its first steps outdoors.
And if you can dodge a wrench…
[via Popular Science]