Robot dogs can move efficiently, but not all that naturally -- and no, twerking doesn't count. Virginia Tech researchers think they can do better. They're developing a combination of algorithms and sensors that help robots move with gaits more like those of real animals. The system mimics the behavior of vertebrates, whose balance control comes largely from oscillating neurons in the spinal cord, using a combination of encoder sensors (to read relative positions for joints) and inertial measurement units (to measure the body's orientation relative to the ground). The result is a mechanical canine that can walk, run and trot with more grace and speed than usual.