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Giant 'Leap' for Robotics 118

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the omni-consumer-products dept.
legoburner writes "An AFP article is reporting that Toyota has developed a robot leg that can jump like a human's, an evolution from today's stiff-jointed machines. The leg is a strange-looking standalone device and Toyota claims it will enable robots to jump about, run faster and handle unpaved roads more smoothly."
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Giant 'Leap' for Robotics

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  • Re:Article not found (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 15, 2006 @04:08AM (#16111658)
    You just click the link, click "Select prior issue", set the date to 14-09-2006, click "Go", go back to the "Article not found" page and refresh.
  • karma whoring here (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 15, 2006 @04:13AM (#16111671)
    TFA on a link that does work:

    http://www.physorg.com/news77352568.html [physorg.com] (google toyota robot leg)

      The one-meter (3.3-foot) leg has a joint on its toe letting it jump as high as four centimeters (1.6 inches) by bending and stretching its toe and another knee-like joint, Japan's top automaker said Wednesday.

    "This is a basic technology that can be applied to a two-legged robot in future," said a Toyota Motor Corp. spokeswoman.

    "It was a difficult step for robots," she said. "But it was made possible after making a number of prototypes."

    Besides the joy of jumping about, robots will also be able to run faster and to handle unpaved roads more smoothly, the company said.

    Toyota, the world's number two automaker which is expected soon to surpass General Motors, has increasingly taken on robot development.

    Toyota humanoids welcomed visitors to the company's pavillion at the 2005 World Expo in Japan, jamming in a brass ensemble and performing hip-hop routines.

  • Read it here (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 15, 2006 @04:28AM (#16111704)
    You can read the article here [zaman.com], here [aljazeera.net] or here [google.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 15, 2006 @04:31AM (#16111711)

    Robot AI Mind.Forth [sourceforge.net] goes beyond mere jumping and gives a robot the smarts for thinking like a human being.

    Artificial life for robots [sourceforge.net] is the joint development of a sound mind in a sound body for jump-for-Joy robots.

    The Joint Stewardship of Earth [wikocracy.com] lets robots jump into a position of equality with human beings in running the planet Earth.

    Technological Singularity by 2012 [blogcharm.com] will be the Great Leap Forward in the co-evolution of intelligent humans and superintelligent robots.

    JavaScript for AI [sourceforge.net] describes how even a simple language like JavaScript can leap into action with tutorial artificial intelligence for amateur robot-makers.

    Turing Store Books [memebot.com] are all about the Great Leap to artificially intelligent robots.

    JavaScript Mind.html [sourceforge.net] is the tutorial version of the Robot AI Mind.Forth.

  • Re:Run faster? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 15, 2006 @04:44AM (#16111750)
    I hate to send a slashdotting to such a nice group of guys, but the Big Dog made by Boston Dynamics might be what you are looking for.
    http://www.bdi.com/content/sec.php?section=BigDog [bdi.com]

    While it doesn't have 2 legged operation it does operate in the "falling forward" way of walking. Check out that video where the guy gives it a swift kick to the side and it just sways and regains it's balance. Looks uncannily lifelike.
  • Re:No link (Score:2, Informative)

    by odourpreventer (898853) on Friday September 15, 2006 @04:58AM (#16111773)
    I have seen the Honda ASIMO videos. I have actually seen the robot LIVE on Robocup in Japan. Our humanoid booth was next to the stage where all humanoids performed.

    I have NEVER seen that robot walk like a human. I have NEVER seen that robot do anything that resembles running.
  • Re:Conjecture (Score:3, Informative)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday September 15, 2006 @05:21AM (#16111832)
    It's probably a good idea to emphasize that RTLinux ISN'T Linux. It is a minimal real-time core upon which the Linux kernel runs. The core can pre-empt the Linux kernel to handle real-time requests.
  • Re:Article not found (Score:5, Informative)

    by legoburner (702695) on Friday September 15, 2006 @05:44AM (#16111881) Homepage Journal
    The link worked when I submitted it over 36 hours ago. Ah well, slow editors, here is an alternate link to the same AFP syndicated story: physorg [physorg.com] and also Yahoo [yahoo.com].
  • Re:Run faster? (Score:2, Informative)

    by ghyd (981064) on Friday September 15, 2006 @05:46AM (#16111884)
    In the four legged category there is the robot mule wich apparently can handle unbalance issues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3W8dm5JxFc [youtube.com]
  • Re:Run faster? (Score:3, Informative)

    by fireboy1919 (257783) <rustyp AT freeshell DOT org> on Friday September 15, 2006 @07:50AM (#16112242) Homepage Journal
    What you're talking about is called "dynamic stability."

    Most two legged robots are statically stable.

    However, most one legged robots are *not* - they're dynamically stable.
    So essentially, this is a solution to that problem.

    It's not the first one, though. There are tons of pogostick-like one-legged robots.

    I'm curious to see what thing Toyota did that makes it worth noting, as the article doesn't mention anything special.
  • Re:Run faster? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 15, 2006 @08:02AM (#16112289)
    What's worthing noting about this bot is the toe... as it says in TFA. :-)
  • Re:Run faster? (Score:3, Informative)

    by SnowZero (92219) on Friday September 15, 2006 @10:35AM (#16113336)
    I depends on what you really mean by balance. FYI QRIO and ASIMO have already demonstrated running capability (though just barely). You are specifically talking about walking though, but obviously a running robot is falling, and thus demonstrating some of the capability that you'd like to see. Their fastest walks are probably still balanced in the ZMP-always-inside-foot sense, although the exact methods are closely gaurded secrets by their respective companies. A robot that maintains the ZMP inside its footprint is still falling in the sense that it cannot simply halt at a given point in its walk cycle without falling over; they are not staticly stable.
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:01PM (#16114673) Homepage

    What you're looking at is a one-legged hopper. Locomotion researchers find it useful to work on one-legged hoppers because the system is simple enough to be analyzed analytically.

    The new feature of this leg seems to be that it has three active joints with sufficient power behind them for jumping. Most legged robots, such as the BDI Big Dog [bdi.com], only have two active joints in the leg, although some have a weak or passive ankle. This is enough to position the leg to any point in the working envelope, and it's not obvious what a third joint buys you. ASIMO has an "ankle", but it's used only to align the foot with the ground, not for active running; ASIMO runs flat-footed, not on the ball of the foot. This Toyota machine seems to have both an ankle and a toe joint.

    This is a big win, as I described back in 1995 in my "Why Legs have Three Joints" [animats.com] paper. With three joints involved in running and jumping, you gain control over the force vector for ground contact, which allows slip control. Also, the hip joint (which is usually the most powerful) can be used more effectively; the lower joints position the leg so that the hip muscles can do most of the work. For humans, this is subtle, because the ankle-toe distance is small. It's much clearer for horses, where the hind leg has three sections of roughly equal length.

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