26 Jan '15, 3pm

Creadapt: How to Make a Robot That Cannot Be Stopped

It’s been a year and a half since we watched Jean-Baptiste Mouret’s hexapod teach it self how to walk again after losing a leg . Damage resilience is certainly critical to being able to remain mobile while exploring that scary and dangerous world outside of a laboratory, but adaptation can be taken even farther, and Mouret’s new robot is exploring exactly how far that is on six adaptable wheels. On flat ground, the Creadapt robot can use its wheels. But as soon as it encounters some other surface, like dirt or grass or rocks or rubble or mysterious grey goo, it’ll change its gait to whatever is most efficient. How does it know what the most efficient gait is for a given surface? It doesn’t. Yet. Fundamentally, a robot losing a leg and a robot trying to move across a foreign surface efficiently is the same problem: the robot has to adapt to a new environment. To do this, th...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/artificial-in...

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