The Army’s got laboratories all over the country bustling with new and exciting robot research. My favorite this week? A team at UC Berkeley who decided to add lizard tails to their automatons. Video at the link.
A research team at the University of California, Berkeley, funded in part by the Army Research Laboratory, have come up with a nifty new way to help robots stay upright and stable, even when making precarious hops and strides over difficult terrain. Inspired by the stabilizing powers that tails imbue in lizards (and, eons ago, dinosaurs) the group decided to add similar tails to their robots.
The precise angle at which a lizard flexes its tail, in response to the surface off which it jumps and the angle of its body, helps that lizard maintain control, even in mid-air, and land upright. The idea is to do the same for mechanical monsters.