Does the Uncanny Valley extend to re-creations of our four-legged friends? We’ll find out soon enough if Yasunori Yamada and his University of Tokyo engineering team manage to get their PIGORASS quadruped bot beyond its first unsteady hops, and into a full-on gallop. Developed as a means of analyzing animals’ musculoskeletal system for use in biologically-inspired robots, the team’s cyborg critter gets its locomotion on via a combo of CPU-controlled pressure sensors and potentiometers. It may move like a bunny (for now), but each limb’s been designed to function independently in an attempt to simulate a simplified neural system. Given a bit more time and tweaking (not to mention a fine, faux fur coating), we’re pretty sure this wee bitty beastie’ll scamper its way into the homes of tomorrow. Check out the lil’ fella in the video after the break.
PIGORASS quadruped robot baby steps past AIBO’s grave (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 02 Sep 2011 18:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.