A group of US researchers has produced a robotic set of legs which they believe is the first to fully model walking in a biologically accurate manner.

The neural architecture, musculoskeletal architecture and sensory feedback pathways in humans have been simplified and built into the robot, giving it a remarkably human-like walking gait that can be viewed in the video above.

The biological accuracy of this robot, which has been presented in IOP Publishing’s Journal of Neural Engineering, has allowed the researchers to investigate the processes underlying walking in humans and may bolster theories of how babies learn to walk, as well as helping to understand how spinal-cord-injury patients can recover the ability to walk.

The robot contains an artificial central pattern generator (CPG), a key neural network in the lumbar region of the spinal cord that generates rhythmic muscle signals, as well as sensors that deliver information back to this artificial CPG (including load sensors that sense force in the limb when the leg is pressed against a stepping surface).

Read more @ IOP : Most accurate robotic legs mimic human walking gait

Access the scientific article here: Klein TJ and Lewis MA, A physical model of sensorimotor interactions during locomotion, 2012 J. Neural Eng. 9 046011 doi:10.1088/1741-2560/9/4/046011

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