A bipedal robot developed at the University of Michigan can run with a human-like gait, the fastest-ever robot with knees. Feedback algorithms are helping Mabel, a headless robot with impressive gams, to keep its balance as it runs in a round pen.
A baby transporter for mobility-impaired children would ensure confidence, independence and proper cognitive development, researchers say. So they recommend babies start driving around on sonar-equipped robots.
At a rehabilitation conference in Las Vegas, researchers at Ithaca College described attaching a child seat to a Wii Fit balance board and mounting the whole setup on a Pioneer 3 robot. Like an infant Segway, it moves in whatever direction the baby leans, and built-in sonar helps avoid collisions.
Following in the footsteps of many robots we've seen who perform awesome but random feats, Japanese electronics company Murata has revealed an update of their Little Seiko humanoid robot for 2010. Murata Girl, as she is known, is 50 centimeters tall, weighs six kilograms and can unicycle backwards and forwards.
I'm just back from a midtown Manhattan hotel meeting room, where I rode Honda's U3-X "Personal Mobility Prototype." It's a nifty little device: essentially a sit-down Segway unicycle that looks like a figure-8-shaped boombox, with a pop-out seat and footrests.
The machine balances itself, with or without a rider. You move and steer by leaning where you want to go, forward, backward, and -- in a unique twist -- side to side.
Did you use training wheels when you learned to ride a bicycle? My dad was convinced they slowed down the learning process and taught bad habits, so he just held on to the back of the seat and ran down the street with me while I pedaled. Then he let go and I fell over. Rinse knees, repeat, until I caught on to the trick of keeping my balance.