Scientists Create Nature-Inspired Robot That's Able to Walk by Itself

Hector 1 photo
Photo: Bielefeld University on Youtube
A research team at Bielefeld University, Germany have created what could be a world first, teaching the only robot of its kind on the planet to walk. Dubbed Hector, the robot’s shape was inspired by an stick insect. The Germans claim that, through its multitude of sensors and an experimental decentralized reactive control concept, the machine is able to move independently.
Hector was designed with passive elastic joints and an ultralight exoskeleton and an ground-braking concept named Walknet. According to the scientists at the German University, by 2017, the walking robot will be equipped with additional abilities in a major project at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC).

Created by the Biomechatronics research group, Hector’s purpose is to serve as a platform for biologists and roboticists to test hypotheses about animal locomotion. “The way that the elasticity in Hector’s drives acts is comparable to the way that muscles act in biological systems,” says Professor Dr. Axel Schneider, the head of the research group.

The team believes they still have to figure out a way to improve the robot’s capacity to walk through a natural environment containing obstacles. In order to optimize that eight research groups have joined their forces for three years in a large-scale project. Currently, the scientists are working on equipping Hector’s front section with far-range sensors as an actual head would have. They already have a prototype with two lateral cameras and two tactile feelers.

The smart robot did take its first steps already and the team has filmed it. We listed the video below, just in case you’re wondering how the future might look when we’re all going to be old and (hopefully) surrounded by grandchildren.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories