Google behind the abandoned Boston Dynamics a multi legged robot way why is

In August this year, Lei feng’s network in Shenzhen will hold an unprecedented global influence of artificial intelligence and robotics Innovation Conference. When Lei feng’s network (search for “Lei feng’s network” public concern) (search for “Lei feng’s network”, public interest) will be published “artificial intelligence and robot Top25 list of innovative enterprises”. At present, we are visiting related companies in the area of artificial intelligence, robots, sift through them eventually elected to the list list of companies. If you want to join our list, please contact:

Lei feng’s network by the writer lixiangbin, Institute of automation Chinese Academy of Sciences State Key Laboratory of complex systems graduate, major in robotics and artificial intelligence.

March 18, 2016 Bloomberg Business Week magazine broke the news, Google Alphabet of the parent company plans to drop the robot plan and sell buy less than 3 years of Boston Dynamics robot manufacturer.

As recently as a month ago, on February 23, Boston Dynamics on YouTube posted a video on company results, the video now has millions of hits, has attracted great attention all over the world.

On May 28, the Tech Insider reports that Toyota’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics “has come to an end”, Boston Dynamics employee and said it was a “friendly takeover”. Although opinions vary regarding the sale and purchase of the Boston Dynamics cause, but those reasons are revealing a trace of multi-legged robot but the means, but as I said in the article why Google had to give up playing God Atlas robot? Boston Dynamics with the last-mentioned in the story behind Google–

“The plight of multi-legged robot may have only just begun.”

(Boston Dynamics Biped robot show)

Therefore, this article, I will explain why multi-legged robot way more and more difficult.

Robots is a very complex set of agents, his part includes a power module, implementing agencies, sensing portion, sport institutions, environmental interaction and navigation, human-computer interaction, and many other aspects. But today we speak of multi-legged robot, main research aspect is the movement of his body, so the first thing we’ll look at which is the robot movement.

Robot’s motion can be divided into wheeled, foot, bending, climbing, crawling, flying, swimming and other land exercise wheel, foot, bending, climbing, crawling, with wheeled and legged, air and water movement in flight and swimming respectively.

| Wheel motion of robot

What are we the first to talk about wheel movement type. List: a four-wheeled, two-wheel balancing, wheel balancing, spherical wheels, six-wheel and crawler.

(NASA Robonaut two-wheeled balancing robot)

For most mobile robots, are motion to adopt wheeled, with four-wheeled and crawler is the most common because it is both simple and high stability in two ways. In addition to two-wheeled balancing robot, two-wheeled balancing robot is typically uses a gyroscope to detect robots have many, and then drives the wheels in the same direction in proportion to movements, the partial compensation of movement would run hundreds of times per second, principles of dynamic equilibrium of the pendulum. We see daily in the streets of two-wheeled electric vehicle is not a robot, but the balance is similar to two-wheeled robot. GUCCI iPhone 6 plus

(Developed by Carnegie Mellon University Professor Ralph Hollis Ballbot unicycle robot)

Wheel balancing robot is a two-wheeled balancing robot development forms, it can be a spherical wheel as the wheel in any square motion in a two-dimensional plane. Robot unicycle balancing United States Carnegie Mellon University (Carnegie Mellon University) Professor Ralph Hollis Ballbot robot developed by Japan’s Institute of Northeastern University (Tohoku Gakuin University) Professor Masaaki Kumagai BallIP robots developed. Since there is only one of the wheels, so the height is higher, but covers an area of much smaller, even more so when compared to other robots for motion in a narrow space.

(Japan Institute of Northeastern University Professor Masaaki Kumagai unicycle mobile robot developed by BallIP)

Spherical-wheeled robot is a robot body encased in a sphere, or in rotating spherical counterweight, to moving or rotating spherical shell.

(Spherical wheel shape

Six-wheeled robot than four wheel drive, will provide greater traction, better suited for outdoor sports, such as rocks and grass environments.

Crawler robot compared to six-wheeled robots will provide greater traction, track structure will make the robot motion is like adding more wheels, is particularly common for outdoor and military robots, particularly suitable for rough terrain. But the downside is the Interior smooth floor environment are more difficult to use. Crawler robot more typical example is NASA city robot Urbie.

(Tracked robot via:tiaozhanbei.NET)

| Foot movements: the embarrassment of humanoid robot

Introducing wheeled robots, our protagonist–enough of this article-type robot.

Through the introduction of wheeled robots we can find, wheeled robot is very well controlled, as long as the two six-wheeled and motor drive, which can make the robot motion and increased as the number of wheels, the traction will also increase, but also adapt to the rugged and uneven road surface conditions.

But for full-motion of the robot, the situation is much more complex.

Will adopt a bipedal humanoid robots in General, but the reliability of these robots don’t have a stronger than humans. For Biped robot balance control issue has been a hot area of research, but unfortunately there is no method of control and balance is the same as the.

Here we find an interesting thing, the humanoid robot research, we are primarily modelled on human and attempting to mimic human movement robot kinematic characteristics of good, but we just built a profile similar to robot control method and humans are not the same.

And more regrets of is, we both no research understand class is how reached so excellent of double foot balance characteristics, we using of method also no over human this excellent of balance characteristics, is is we now of double foot robot basically are cannot in rugged of road walking, although we see Atlas in not flat road Shang walking of video, but this paragraph video may really of just go have very good of once has. This itself is a Biped robot is very awkward position. Since robustness of feet are so bad, we have four feet or more is sufficient to achieve a better balance, but also eliminates the need to strike a balance control algorithm to be used.

(Atlas in the DARPA challenge,

Although many-footed eliminates the number of balance problems, and many feet adapt to the rugged terrain, overcome obstacles, and good maneuverability, these are foot movement merits, these advantages for non-full-motion, can also seem to change so as to realize and for feet and foot, foot movement itself would have a lot of problems.

We take a look at the foot robot balance control method is used.

Full balance control method for robot GUCCI case for iphone 6 plus

1, zero moment point motion planning

(Zero moment point motion planning method for schematic diagram of

Zero moment point motion planning method: load along the foot with the same symbol (), which is equivalent to a Heli r, its role in the context of a foot. Heli r on foot through the hot spot, called the zero moment point (zero moment point), abbreviated ZMP.

The concept raised Vukobratovic in 1968, ZMP, to 80 Waseda jiatengyilang laboratory (Ichiro Kato’s laboratory at Waseda University) produced a series of WL robot, Biped robot is a dynamic balance of the practical application of this concept to the earliest biped.

A famous example, like Honda’s Asimo is the use of relevant theory to reach ZMP of Biped robot walking and balance. The ZMP has anything to use it? If the ZMP down at the foot of the range, the robot can walk steadily.

(Asimo robot

However, this is not our principle of human walking, and we see the robot walking very uncomfortable, some people joke that Asimo walks as bursting to go to the toilet. And such a balanced approach, and can only be applied to the flat walking on the pavement.

Jump 2, balanced

(Three dimensional one-legged hopping robot

Jumping balance: the first is from the MIT Leg Laboratory Marc Raibert successfully implemented in 80 years of the last century, read what I wrote why Google had to give up playing God Atlas robot? Boston Dynamics and the story behind Google’s article person, Marc Raibert’s not alien to some, Yes, he is the founder of the Boston Dynamics, and remains the current President and project manager of the Boston Dynamics. His original balance of jumping robot has only one leg, can be realized by has been bounced straight down, that felt like we were playing Pogo. When the robot down to one side when robot legs to side-step, catching himself. Later, one foot developed into a two-legged and four-legged, are starting to do some more complex movements, such as the trot, strides, somersault or something.

3, dynamic balancing algorithm

Dynamic balance method is more robust than zero moment point, which is the movement of robot, and then determine the robot’s feet should be placed where. People may wonder this jumping and balance what’s the difference, which is mainly the difference between jumping balance is a dynamic balance, just like a bicycle without support, you must ride up to balance, but balance algorithm for robot can be stably stood there.

(Biped robot Dexter Anybots company. Can jump off the ground 11 inches

4, passive dynamic walking

Passive dynamic walking robot could be completely without driving, completely without control rely only on potential energy as the energy input can achieve downward along the slope to stabilize walking.

(Schematic diagram of passive dynamic walk

Because during human walking swing drive energy is not entirely come from the muscles of the leg work, but some comes from the work of gravity, which is very similar to the motion of a simple pendulum. Experimental study on human legs of EMG during walking shows that when human leg muscle activity most of the time is very small, it shows its own gravity and inertia are important parameters in determining its characteristics, passive dynamic walking is totally dependent on gravity and inertia, which provides the basis of bionics for passive walking. But this control is limited, because the robot needs to be passive motion using gravity, then the movement will be very limited, and that process is like a hungry little strength along the downhill by gravity.

So above the current-column robot with balance and movement control algorithm, and not a very good solution, how they walk and not up to our expectations by expecting robust effect of superiority, and enough inherent obstacle-climbing ability, more other sports also are being completed, so this advantage began to gradually disappear.

In addition, full sports there are many design difficulties and questions of power.

Foot problems in sport: easy and high power consumption

(A joint structure via:csstoday.NET)

In the form of quadruped walking robot bodies, legs are the most important institutions. Institutions if the leg selected properly, not only makes the design of robot mechanism is simple, convenient, and simplified control scheme. But most of the legged robot based on trajectory planning method of zero moment point. Each joint of the robot needs to be driven and controlled volume and quality makes the robot, from mechanical design to control system design are complex, inefficient and not suitable for long hours and long field. And the human joint is a complex structure, currently rely on motors to simulate only, get the effect great embarrassment.

(Sketch of human knee joint via:zzxu.CN)

And for the past decade, legged robot has been a great deal of development, however, energy consumption has been plagued this designer.

It is estimated that Japan Honda’s ASIMO robot mobile units from the consumption of energy per unit weight is 10 times more than humans. Because each of its leg joints are motor-driven, computer-controlled walking during every moment of the joint angle and angular velocity and other parameters. In this way has developed successful mobile robots, but they require sophisticated, fast and accurate driving and control, so energy consumption rate is far higher than humans.

Limited traditional practical walking robot that high energy consumption is an important factor. Traditional robot needs a lot of motor driving, takes a lot of energy, and the motor will do some work in a walk cycle, to further increase the energy consumption. So we will see whether the Asimo or the Atlas will carry a large battery bag, big dog is diesel, so noise is not small.

(Atlas robot on the back of the battery pack

So they said, we can take the form of passive dynamic locomotion. Indeed, the 90 ‘s of the last century the development of passive walking robot is a simple mechanical device, connected by the solid bar through the joint, and can rely only on gravity at a downward slant of achieving stable walking. They don’t have motors and controllers, only walk on gravitational potential energy compensation in the process of collision and friction loss of energy, to be implemented by its mechanical structure and quality distribution of periodic walking. The mobile units from the consumption of energy per unit weight and numerical size of human walking, making them walking efficiency than ever mobile machinery. However, look at these descriptions we will concern only rely on slopes to move robots what more we can let it dry.

Above from a technical point of view, we’ll see emotionally.

“Uncanny Valley”: do you want a humanoid robot?

(Image’s robot Butler in the film)

If your housekeeper is a robot, I think you’re looking for is a kind of robot. If you say you prefer feet, it’s often what you expect is a humanoid robot, but I used in the article in 2015, the robot what amazing crazy stories? (B) introduction of robot Geminoid f, introduced the “Uncanny Valley”, if this beautiful robot Geminoid f you look afraid, how could you let her when your housekeeper or Playmate. Besides, if her which parts broke, I’m afraid you can’t even hold hold a metal like this guy.

Since household doesn’t work, we can combat applications. Don’t forget, big dogs too loud, her us use it, and such a gas, transported more than driving a car.

In view of this, multi-legged robots may only want to follow or an original idea of restoring human and animal nature, and now embarrassment and multi-legged robot as the main business of Boston Dynamics of the owners we can see and feel, multi-legged robot way really is more and more difficult.

Lei Feng network Note: Lei Feng a net is exclusive in this paper manuscripts, please contact empower and retain the full information, articles must not be modified.


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Originally published at on June 12, 2016.