Three independent research teams, including one from MIT, have built walking robots that mimic humans in terms of their gait, energy efficieny and control The MIT robot also demonstrates a new learning system that allows it to continually adapt to the terrain as it walks. The work, which is described in the Feb. 18 issue ofthe journal Science, could change the way humanoid robots are designed an controlled. it also has potential applications for robotic prostheses and it could aid scientists' understanding of the human motor system. Developed at MIT, Cornell and Holland's Delft University of Technology, the three robots are all based on the same principle- they are an extension of several years of research into "passive-dynamic walkers" that walk down a shallow slope without any motors. Passive-dynamic walkers were inspired by walking toys that have been around since the 1800s.
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