This robotic dog can run along the beach at 9.8 feet per second
Developers hope it will lead to robots capable of literally thinking on their feet.
By Jim Leffman via SWNS
Jogging along the beach with your robotic dog might seem like something out of a sci-fi film, but scientists have done just that.
The robo-dog, called RaiBo, is the first to be able to navigate uneven surfaces and can bound along sand dunes at 9.8 feet (three meters) per second.
The team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) used advanced neural networks to allow the dog to make judgments on the run.
It is able to adapt to various types of ground without prior information while walking at the same time.
The trained neural network controller is expected to expand the scope of application of quadrupedal walking robots by proving its robustness in changing terrain.
This includes the ability to move at high speed even on a sandy beach and walk and turn on soft grounds like an air mattress without losing balance.
Led by KAIST's Department of Mechanical Engineering, the study published in the journal Science Robotics, uses reinforcement learning.
This is an AI learning method used to create a machine that collects data on the results of various actions in an arbitrary situation. It then uses that set of data to perform a task.
Because the amount of data required for reinforcement learning is so vast, a method of collecting data through simulations that approximates physical phenomena in the real environment is widely used.
The team developed a technology to model the force received by a walking robot on the ground made of granular materials such as sand and simulate it via a quadrupedal robot 'dog.'
However the performance of the learning-based controller rapidly decreases when the actual environment has any discrepancy from the learned simulation environment.
To counter this, the team implemented an environment similar to the real one in the data collection stage.
Therefore, in order to create a learning-based controller that can maintain balance in a deforming terrain, the simulator must provide a similar contact experience.
The research team defined a contact model that predicted the force generated upon contact from the motion dynamics of a walking body based on a ground reaction force model that considered the additional mass effect of granular media defined in previous studies.
By calculating the force generated from one or several contacts at each time step, the deforming terrain was efficiently simulated.
They then combined this with an artificial neural network structure that predicts ground characteristics using a recurrent neural network that analyses time-series data from the robot's sensors.
All this was incorporated into RaiBo which was built hands-on by the research team.
It was able to run up to 3.03 m/s on a sandy beach where the robot's feet were completely submerged in the sand.
Even when applied to harder grounds, such as grassy fields, and a running track, it was able to run stably by adapting to the characteristics of the environment without any additional programming or revision to the controlling algorithm.
In addition, it rotated with stability at approximately 90° per second on an air mattress and demonstrated its quick adaptability even in the situation in which the terrain suddenly turned soft.
The developers hope it will lead to robots capable of literally thinking on their feet and performing practical tasks on a range of terrains.
First author doctoral student Soo-Young Choi said: "It has been shown that providing a learning-based controller with a close contact experience with real deforming ground is essential for the application to deforming terrain.
“The proposed controller can be used without prior information on the terrain, so it can be applied to various robot walking studies.”
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
This superyacht could be the future of luxury vessels
Guests can enjoy a pool on the aft, a spa inside, as well as five "soft, comfy, cloudy" bedrooms and...
New drug that combats hospital superbugs on horizon
It is the first discovery of its kind in more than three decades.
This dog is so big people often mistake him for a pony or a lion
"It's 50/50. Some people are scared and cross the street when they see him, and others just want to stroke...
This is how far sports fans are willing to go for their favorite team
This story version has been formatted as an on-air script for broadcast outlets. See the original research story here. ALMOST...
People make these 5 everyday mistakes that can cause back problems
Dr. Juliette Hobson believes many are not doing enough to reduce the pressure and stress of the day job, and...
- Work4 days ago
What are the top employee benefits in 2023?
- Pets6 days ago
Half of pet owners consider getting a tattoo of their furry friends: poll
- Health3 days ago
Women reveal reasons why they don’t exercise enough
- Fashion & Beauty1 week ago
Cold weather has major impact on women’s confidence and mood: poll
- Food & Drink1 week ago
Why is hosting dinner at home more stressful than catching a flight?
- Lifestyle5 days ago
Senior got Magic Mike-themed birthday party for her last hoorah
- Animals5 days ago
Australia has discovered another giant spider
- Climate Change6 days ago
How Americans are taking steps toward becoming more sustainable