Humans are adept at using our hands to keep our balance, whether by grabbing a railing as we climb stairs, walking with help from a cane, or gripping a strap on the subway. Now, University of Michigan researchers have enabled humanoid robots to use their hands in a similar way, so the robots can better travel across rough terrain, such as disaster areas or construction sites.
“In a collapsed building or on very rough terrain, a robot won’t always be able to balance itself and move forward with just its feet,” said Dmitry Berenson, professor of electrical and computer engineering and core faculty in the Robotics Institute.
“You need new algorithms to figure out where to put both feet and hands. You need to coordinate all these limbs together to maintain stability, and what that boils down to is a very difficult problem.”Continue reading ⇒