Animals walk, run, jump, swim, dart, glide, and hover with ease.
Most robots and machines hardly compare to their biological counterparts
in terms of agility, manueverability, stealth, efficiency, and
robustness. Perhaps a better understanding of animals could lead
to more competent mechanical counterparts.
Researchers at IHMC are developing improved models of animal
locomotion including bipedal and quadrupedal walking and running. These models
are inspired by and strive to capture the control strategies that
are found in biology. They also incorporate an understanding of
the dynamics of locomotion and control theory.
Besides leading to better robots, improved models of locomotion
will also enable wearable robots (exoskeletons), powered prosthetics,
algorithms for walking via functional electrical stimulation, and
other human enhancing technologies.