Next Friday, a Dutch robotics researcher named Daan Hobbelen at TU Delft will be getting his PhD for building a robot named Flame. What's the big deal? you robo-saturated Giz readers ask. Flame has been built to walk like a man, using human-based principles that strike fear in the hearts of other robotics experts. UPDATE and BONUS VIDEO BELOW!!
The essential but counterintuitive concept is that, to walk like a man, the robot must "fall forward." Flame derives information from its "organ of balance," which it then applies to things like stance using seven motors. Springs in its joints make the movements smoother, as you see in the video above.
Flame will be used not only to further robotics research, but to help diagnose orthopedic problems in humans as well. Me, I'm waiting for Flame 2. Word on the street is that it'll be able to pull off, yes that's right, the Electric Boogaloo. [PhysOrg via KurzweilAI]
UPDATE: A reader named Jerry just told me about an earlier bipedal robot from Cornell that supposedly used the same principles to walk. As you can see in the video below, on the upside, it has arms; on the downside, it looks like it's been using the arms to do the 12-oz curl if you know what I'm sayin'. Thanks Jerry!