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Panic walking gets robot out of sticky situations
Posted: 02-09-2010
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18403

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XCMbbAuHNc


A six-legged robot learns different walking styles, which it can then use to adapt to tricky terrain or even flee from the first signs of trouble

A six-legged robot with a "panic mode" is proving to be a whizz at locomotion. When it finds it cannot move freely, the panicky droid scans randomly through the many walking gaits it has taught itself and selects the best for the terrain. That means it can free itself should it get stuck.

Getting robots to choose the right gait on differently textured surfaces and at varying inclinations is tough. Some robots use preprogrammed gaits, while others use software routines called genetic algorithms (GAs) to evolve the best gait on the fly. But both those methods need a lot of onboard computer power.

Silke Steingrube of the Bernstein Centre for Computational Neuroscience in G
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