U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) scientists have determined that current legged robots could be far more efficient via evaluation with the Heglund formula, which defines the power requirements of an specifically-sized animal to move at a given speed.
Legged robots deviated from the formula compared to most vehicles and animals; for example, Boston Dynamics' humanoid Atlas robot uses 60 times as much power when moving as predicted.
ARL's Alexander Kott said robots lack the energy-conserving spring-like tissues that animals use to achieve efficiency, but "ongoing research in novel materials is likely to open opportunities for similar store-and-recycle approaches."
The Army is exploring designs for a robotic cargo carrier for infantry squads, and while current candidates use wheels or tracks, walking robots should eventually gain sufficient efficiency for similar applications.
From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA
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