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Waseda's two-legged, stair-climbing robot in action

Evan Blass
March 6, 2007
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A good 90% of our day is spent sitting in a chair delivering you non-stop gadget action, but that other 10% of our waking hours when we're forced to pursue nourishment, let the dog out, and make trips to the bathroom can be a real drag. What we wouldn't give for a chair like the lucky kids at Waseda University have built, a two-foot tall, bipedal "robot" that uses a combination of hydraulics and algorithms to saunter along fairly gracefully and even negotiate difficult terrain like the potentially-deadly household staircase. The WL-16IV, as this model is known (Waseda-Leg Number 16 Refinement Four, apparently) follows several earlier units by the same name, as well as an antiquated prototype from 2001 known called the WL-16. Hit the Read link for some good machine translation fun, or do yourself a favor and just head straight to the video of this dream chair in action.

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