See MIT’s new engineering achievement‎

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Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have created the first full-body remote control system that transmits a human’s motion to a two-legged robot. Thus, when a human operator walks, runs or jumps, the robot does the same in a synchronized manner.

In the past‎‎, MIT researchers had achieved this only with the upper part of the body (the HERMES Robotic system),‎‎ and now -for the ‎‎first time- they have ‎‎improved their technology‎‎ to automatically transfer all the body movement of a human in a two-legged robot, which mimics human.‎‎ At the same time, the ‎‎robot transmits to human information about its own state of balance.‎

The ‎‎new system called ‎‎”Little HERMES”‎‎,‎‎ which ‎‎is based on a special electronic vest worn by the operator,‎‎ and a ‎‎special algorithm that allows the robot to ‎‎”translate”‎‎ the signals from man,‎‎ it is hoped that it will ‎‎give robots faster the ability to gain more physical and synchronized movements like human.‎

The ‎‎researchers, led by João Ramos,‎‎ who ‎‎made the relevant publication in the robotics journal ‎‎”Science Robotics”‎‎,‎‎ said they are hoping to further improve their system by using more sophisticated two-legged robots, minimizing the lag of communication between operator and robot and ‎‎seeking new ways of human-machine communication, for example through biosignals.‎

‎Such ‎‎robots‎‎ will be ‎‎ideal for use in cases of natural or other disasters where people cannot reach‎‎ (building fire, explosion in a nuclear plant, leakage of chemical gases, etc.). To ‎‎date even the best autonomous humanoid robots do not have comparable with people movement abilities in real conditions, often losing their balance, stumbling and falling down.‎

That’s why ‎‎some scientists develop remote control methods that allow robots to have more physical and complex movements in space.‎‎ The big technical challenge is the direct dynamic synchronization of the human-operator with the robot.‎‎ With the new system, whenever the human operator feels that the robot is going to fall, he adjusts his position and movement so that the robot can… come straight.‎

So far the remote-controlled robot can -with the guidance of a man- open a heavy door, lift or throw heavy objects, maintaining its balance. ‎‎Researchers are working to improve it even further so that in the future it is able to move comfortably in a zone of natural or other disaster.‎

Source: ANA-MNA

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