Do Swiss Roboticists Dream Of Electric Sheep?

I think they do. The Legged Robotics Team at ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab started by trying to figure out how to reverse engineer a similar (but more trainable) creature, the dog.

Even though I think most Technovelgy readers are familiar with the advanced work done in this field by the American firm Boston Robotics, which created the BigDog robot, I think you'll like the analysis done in the legged robot video below.


(Legged robot research at ETH Zurich)

This projects aims towards the design and construction of an energy efficient robotic quadruped that is capable of various dynamic motions including fast walking, trotting, bounding, and galloping. The primary focus is the production of an actual mechanical prototype. The prototype and the associated control strategies will be developed so as to maximize dynamic performance while minimizing energy consumption. In particular, to make the system as energy efficient as possible, we intend to exploit natural, or passive, dynamics in ways that have been the focus of significant previous research and shown themselves to be effective in bipedal robots. The extension of the concept of passive dynamics to quadrupedal robots, and more importantly the actual realization of such a system, has to date received very little attention by other researchers. The principal parts of the project are:
  • Developing simulation capabilities to aid design calculations and evaluate controller performance.
  • The development of fundamentally new control strategies that incorporate the advantageous haracteristics of passive dynamics into an optimal controller with deadbeat attitude feedback.
  • Designing, fabricating, and testing a mechanical prototype to evaluate controller stability, robustness, and performance.

Few animals survive in the future world of Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. For status, many people have mechanical animals that are perfect mimics of their organic predecessors:

He ascended … to the covered pasture whereon his electric sheep "grazed." Whereon it, sophisticated piece of hardware that it was, chomped away in simulated contentment, bamboozling the other tenants of the building.
(Read more about Philip K. Dick's electric sheep)

Explore the themes and ideas from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. From Legged Robotics autonomous systems lab via Robohub.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/5/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...' - JG Ballard, 1962.

Drywall Robot Looking For Sheetrock
Sheetrockers have sure changed since my day. Speaking as someone who as done this, I welcome robots.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.