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Sunday, July 18, 2021

Robots Adapt to Challenging Terrain in Real Time

Terrain-able robotics have been very impressive in recent years.   Here yet more advances by some relatively unexpected parties.  Ultimately will it become rare to have humans repetitively port around themselves and things they can carry?  

Stumble-Proof Robot Adapts to Challenging Terrain in Real Time. By TechCrunch, July 16, 2021

A new robotic locomotion model capable of real-time terrain adaptation has been developed by a multi-institutional research team.

Engineers at Facebook AI, the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and Carnegie Mellon University based Rapid Motor Adaptation (RMA) on the ability of humans and animals to quickly and unconsciously adjust their locomotion to different conditions.

The team trained the system in a virtual model of the real world, where the robot's brain learned to maximize forward motion with the least amount of energy, and to avoid falls by responding to incoming data from physical sensors.

UC Berkeley's Jitendra Malik said the robot employs absolutely no visual input, instead closely monitoring itself.

The RMA system uses a constantly running main gait-control algorithm and a parallel adaptive algorithm that watches internal readings and provides the main model adjustment data in response to terrain changes.

From TechCrunch   Full article.

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