Young giraffes and antelopes have an amazing ability to adapt to walking after a few minutes after birth. It allows them to immediately adapt to a hostile environment full of predators and other dangers. This feature of the cubs has long inspired biologists and engineers to create robotic limbs that can quickly adapt to the environment by trial and error. It seems that the techniques of the school of Engineering Viterbi finally managed to do it.
The researchers claim that the developed algorithm is able to give robots an individual walk in just 5 minutes. Training takes place in free play mode — rearranges limbs until, until the algorithm decides that the developed gait is fully ensures the stability of the robot in a particular area. It is noteworthy that the technology does not require advanced computer simulation, which is very common in other similar projects.
Accidental movement of the legs allow the robot to build a map of their limbs and to understand how they interact with the environment.
Ali Marganilized, co-author of the project
Independent learning puts new technology head and shoulders above other projects, where the motion of the robot are set in advance by programmers. The researchers explained that the developers can consider several situations in which the robot will be required to make any motion, but they cannot anticipate all scenarios. Therefore, study on their own practical experience, the robot will be able to avoid many mistakes.
Researchers developed a robot capable of overcoming obstacles, developing a unique movement. If the technology is widely used in the future, robots will be known even by the sound of their footsteps, as each of them will have their own style of walk.
The new algorithm can become part of the spacecraft that will be able to adapt to the conditions of distant planets: the abundance of large rocks, low gravity, and even dirt. It is also possible to implement in robotic prostheses for people with disabilities, as it will be able to learn the habits of a person and imitate his characteristic movement.
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