Walking-running robots are the thing right now. Robotic research labs are getting larger funds and more researchers are getting into this field. Me myself just finished a research paper on robotic locomotion a few weeks ago. So it is everywhere and robotics goes hand in hand with computer software engineering. But maybe there is another way to do it and that is what the scientists at IHMC were thinking when they started working on the Planar Elliptical Runner. Let’s talk about it.
The Planar Elliptical Runner (PER) has a unique design paired with a single motor. This motor is the main reason behind the elliptical motion it runs in. Because of that motion and the structure, it does not need computer tech to drive it. The shape gives it a different level of stability and the legs have something called reactive resilience. It means that if the robot feels resistance from its running track it automatically adds power to push through with speed. The rear legs ate mechanically adjusted to stabilize its sprint. It has a speed of up to 12 mph. Not just that. Researchers claim that if this was the size of a full grown human body. It could reach the speed of 20 to 30 mph.
The thing about a biped robot is that it is harder to balance. So to have that balance means a lot more power and more power means very much more expensive. But this takes away that aspect away from it. But I guess you need an algorithm and a computer chip to control it. Cause the goal is not let it keep running and this just seems to be running. They will figure it out at some point. For now this is a great development.
Source | Designboom