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December 13, 2014 AT 1:00 am

Researchers Study Cats and Divers To Help Robots Fall Safely #SaturdayMorningCartoons

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Researchers study cats and divers to help robots learn too fall safely in the future. via popsci

A little feline philosophy for you all today. Thankfully, real cats are much better teachers. Robots are pretty clumsy. They’re also crazy expensive. This is a really bad combination. To solve this problem (and save a lot of skinned robot knees) Dr. Karen Liu at Georgia Tech is looking to two examples of graceful fallers: Divers and cats. She presented her research at the 2014 IEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). But for the rest of us, here she is to explain her research:

Being able to quickly discern their orientation and twisting their bodies to compensate is a hallmark trait of cats—who famously always land on their feet. Destin over at Smarter Every Day dropped a bunch of cats in slow motion to show you exactly how they do it. For those of you at home, rather than dropping your cat, I recommend following the comic cat’s advice and just take a nap instead.

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