Legs yes, why does Spot have legs anyway? Do you design a device that can help people, and you get back to nature? If humanity had spent all of its existence looking towards nature for movement, we would not have invented the airplane. The wheel probably isn’t either.
Paws and legs are wonderful inventions of nature, says Pim Haselager. He is professor of the social implications of artificial intelligence at Radboud University. The legs can move forward on a variety of surfaces, from sand to ice and everything in between. They, like Spot’s paws, walk on rocks, on hills, they climb ramps and stairs.
“They reproduced the biomechanics of the legs well at Boston Dynamics: there is a kind of coil springs in the legs that go out and up. Then it automatically looks like an animal, ”says Haselager.
Lambèr Royakkers, who as a professor of ethics and technology does a lot of research on robotics at the Eindhoven University of Technology, also believes that the builder of Spot has done something special with walking. They solved the balance problem, he explains. You can gently push Spot without the device tipping. Spot “sees” how to walk on rough terrain. Atlas, a human-like robot from the same builder, can tumble and jump over objects. “They are well balanced. It’s very smart.
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