New Walking Robot Named DURUS Wears Shoes

Posted on July 13, 2016

DURUS walking robot wearing shoes

Georgia Tech researchers have developed a robot that walks like a person. DURUS also wears size 13 shoes while walking on a treadmill at the school's AMBER Lab.

DURUS walks using the heel-strike and toe push-off seen in walking humans. It has springs in its ankles and feet that mimic elastic tendons in humans. The researchers say this gives DURUS a natural gait that "stores mechanical energy from a heel strike to be later reclaimed as the foot lifts off the ground."

Aaron Ames, director of the Georgia Tech lab and a professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, says in a statement, "Our robot is able to take much longer, faster steps than its flat-footed counterparts because it's replicating human locomotion. Multi-contact foot behavior also allows it to be more dynamic, pushing us closer to our goal of allowing the robot to walk outside in the real world."

The researchers say DURUS has a cost of transport of 1.4 while rival humanoids are about 3.0. They describe cost of transport for robot locomotion efficiency as the amount of power a robot uses divided by its weight and walking speed. Here's DURUS in action:

Photo: Christian Hubicki, Postdoctoral Fellow/Georgia Institute of Technology