INNOVATION / ROBOTICS

This Robot Will Continue Getting Back Up Even After it Falls Down

This robot is protected from damage when it falls by a unique exterior skeleton. It has even learned how to get back up using a series of human-like moves.


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The developments of robots are happening at a breakneck speed. Almost every week it feels like there has been another giant leap forward in the development of humanoid robots and the ways in which they can move, operate and function. But as the robots get smarter and more skilled, their computers and sensors also increase in power, expense, and fragility.

But robots like the rest of us can be prone to accidents and just like this, when a robot huts themselves during a fall, the results can be expensive. In an attempt to mitigate this problem, researchers from the Tokyo and Kawasaki Universities have developed a robot fall protection system. The first part of the design is physical. The robots equipped with the protection have a slimline but strong exterior cage on them that works something like the parts of our skeleton designed to protect our most vulnerable areas. Like our ribs and skull. The highest impact areas of the robot have extra protection. So its knees, elbows, and hands are won’t be damaged by repeated falls.

Perhaps even more important than the protection falling down is that the robot is designed to be able to stand up again. It has learned a series of very agile, human-like moves, that get it back up on its feet again. The robot is designed to work in possible dangerous or unknown conditions such as disaster zones or wet environments. The robot is tethered to its power source which means it can almost infinitely fall down and get back up with no worry of damage.

 

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