AIST has succeeded in making HRP-4C Miim walk like a human being. Her knees are stretched by up/down motion of the waist, the single-toe supporting realizes longer strides, and she mimics the swing motion of human legs.
Technical detail is presented in “Human-Like Walking with Toe Supporting for Humanoids,” by Kanako Miura, Mitsuharu Morisawa, Fumio Kanehiro, Shuuji Kajita, Kenji Kaneko, and Kazuhito Yokoi, Proc. 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.
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That’s pretty impressive progress, but I’d love to see a graph of accelerometer data on the bot’s head in comparison to similar data for a human. At the end of every step there’s something going on that looks like some microscopic version of whiplash.
Miim is still a bit stiff, but I wish AIST would put together a side-by-side video of her 2009 walk alongside this much-improved gait.
This is the kind of scientific engineering I wish the news would broadcast.