In a first, a research group has found that by changing only its parameter related to speed, a quadruped robot can spontaneously change its steps.

The research group led by Akio Ishiguro and Dai Owaki from Tohoku University in Japan demonstrated that a quadruped robot –¬†which has four legs – can spontaneously change its steps between energy-efficient patterns (gait transition phenomena).

Until now, the manner in which changing speeds cause quadrupeds to change walking, trotting and galloping was poorly understood, the researchers said in .

Through this study, they successfully demonstrated the quadruped gait transition phenomena.

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They achieved this by a decentralised control scheme, using a simple local rule in which a leg continues to support the body while sensing weight on the corresponding leg.

The researchers hope that the study will lead to a wide range of applications such as adaptive legged robots working in disaster areas, user-friendly legged entertainment robots and automatic motion-creation algorithms for computer graphics (CG) animation.

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