December 16, 2014

First steps for Hector the robot stick insect

Scientists at Bielefeld University apply technology inspired by examples in nature

A research team at Bielefeld University has succeeded in teaching the only robot of its kind in the world how to walk. Its first steps have been recorded in a video. You can watch them in Bielefeld University’s latest posting on ‘research_tv’. The robot is called Hector, and its construction is modelled on a stick insect. Inspired by the insect, Hector has passive elastic joints and an ultralight exoskeleton. What makes it unique is that it is also equipped with a great number of sensors and it functions according to a biologically inspired decentralized reactive control concept: the Walknet. By 2017, the walking robot will be equipped with additional abilities in a major project at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC).