Portuguese scientists are developing robots to help people with mobility problems.
The researchers in Guimarães are trying to create robots that can react to unexpected situations and adapt their movements accordingly.
The scientists want them to be able to make decisions for themselves.
One of the researchers at Minho University, Miguel Oliveira, outlined what they are trying to achieve: “The purpose of this experiment is to test our system of motion, to know how the senses would adapt to an irregular walking surface. It is what you do, for example, when you are skateboarding.”
To improve their navigation, robots must have their own form of senses, like touch and the ability to detect vibration.
Scientists then have to translate that into what is called the device’s adaptive and intelligent mobility.
Researcher Vitor Matos explained: “It has to do with the way a robot’s foot touches the ground, the position of the limbs, the force exerted by the muscles, information in the system of balance, whether it is leaning or falling down.”
It is hoped these new techniques could be used in future motorised prosthetics, but there is still a long way to go and many challenges the scientists have to overcome.
Professor Cristina Santos from the university’s department of electronics said: “If there’s a problem, if the robot stumbles, how can it react, how do the different motors react so that its movement is coordinated? If it is climbing, how can it generate the movement to walk properly, like we do? How can it climb stairs, avoid obstacles and how can it intuitively change its movement?”
The project is being developed by students and staff from the department of industrial electronics at the University of Minho who hope to have it completed by 2013.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians | euronews, world news
- 2Ellen MacArthur: making waves on a journey to a circular economy | euronews, the global conversation
- 3Air Algerie loses contact with plane from Ouagadougou to Algiers | euronews, world news
- 4Putin T-Shirts flying off the shelves at Moscow megastore | euronews, world news
- 5Everything you need to know about the Ebola virus | euronews, world news
- 6Massive Swedish forest fire is declared a national emergency | euronews, world news
- 7Portugal hopes to become a pensioner’s paradise with zero tax offer | euronews, reporter
- 8Beyond the subconscious | euronews, futuris
- 9Eastern Ukrainians ‘hate Russian-led guerrillas’ — Arseniy Yatsenyuk | euronews, interview
- 10Iceland warns Europe’s airlines of possible volcanic eruption | euronews, world news
- 11Malta opera star Joseph Calleja’s summer concert draws big crowd | euronews, le mag
- 12Risk of fresh ash cloud threatens European air travel | euronews, world news
- 13Poland wants compensation from the EU for Russian import ban | euronews, world news
- 14Man, 27, fails in suicide bid after tigers reject chance to eat him | euronews, world news
- 15Romania buys into bitcoin big time | euronews, corporate
- 16Hong Kong gets smart on mobility | euronews, urban visions
- 17A robot that grows | euronews, futuris
- 18EU’s Russia sanctions doing more harm than good says Hungary’s PM Orban | euronews, world news
- 19Turkey’s women have the last laugh | euronews, world news
- 20Greek farmers suffer in economic war between Russia and EU | euronews, economy