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AMBER robot walks on human-like feet but isn't quite ready for British Knights

Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
October 24, 2013
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Until recently, bipedal robots have sometimes had to take interesting approaches to imitate human walking because they lack our first points of contact with the road: heels and toes. The latest breakthrough from Texas A&M's Amber Lab robotics team may have fixed that, though. An approximation of those foot bones grants the robo-Manziel the pivot-points necessary for (somewhat) naturalistic locomotion. However, this advancement doesn't do nearly as much in terms of making the synthetic legs any stronger. Near the end of the embedded video, the disembodied legs stumble and fall to show that the attached boom isn't supporting their weight. This is great news for us meatbags, because it makes 2029 feel that much further away.

Update: We received word from Texas A&M Amber Lab's Aaron Ames that the robot in fact supports its weight throughout the entire demo, and that the team purposely made it fall to show that the attached boom only provides lateral stability.

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