Robotic Legs Take Big Step Forward

Robolegs accurately mimic human gait
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2012 3:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Robotic legs have taken a big and biologically accurate step into the future thanks to a team from the University of Arizona. The team has developed legs that it says mimic the human gait more effectively than any other, with an electronic version of the message system in the spinal cord that sends signals to control walking, Wired reports.

The team says the simple version of the central pattern generator the legs use is similar to that used by babies before they develop more complex walking patterns. The main goal of the research is to develop more realistic movement in robots, but the team hopes their work will also help explain how humans walk, and how people with spinal cord injuries can regain the ability to walk, Scientific American notes.

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