Scientists develop robot legs that walk like a human

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Scientists at the University of Arizona published work on a pair of robotic legs that walk with a human-like gait.

The structure of the legs is modeled after that of human legs, complete with hip, knee and ankle joints. The legs also have muscles made of Kevlar — a synthetic fiber used in a variety of objects such as bicycle tires and body armor.

The legs are controlled by a computerized version of the central pattern generator (CPG), according to Forbes. The CPG stabilizes leg movement and allows humans to walk in a regular pattern without consciously thinking about it. The difference between this robot and others, according to Time, is that the CPG allows the legs to coordinate its movements rather than use sensors to react to the surface it’s walking on.

Currently, the legs stand at just under 2 feet and weigh less than 10 pounds. The next step is to add visual and tactile sensors so that the robot can correct itself if it stumbles.

Scientists intend to use these legs to understand how babies learn to walk and to better understand the recovery process of patients with spinal injuries. Eventually, they hope that the robot can be used around humans as a caretaker. The Institute of Physics posted a video of the legs in action.

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Hillary Alexander