Running Robots to be Discussed at Corvallis Science Pub


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Robots already build cars, perform household chores and explore the oceans, but most of these machines are not ready to walk safely among humans.

At the Sept. 14 Corvallis Science Pub, Oregon State University’s Jonathan Hurst will describe efforts to teach a robot how to walk with dexterity on uneven terrain.

“It’s possible to have robots that walk and run and manipulate things and do all the physical interactions that people can do,” said Hurst, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Oregon State and a leader of its growing robotics program.

“We have physical proof. I can do it. Why not a robot? Where will it happen first? That’s the question.”

Working with OSU students and with colleagues at the University of Michigan and Carnegie-Mellon, he designed a robot known as ATRIAS, the first machine to reproduce human-like and animal-like ground reaction forces and center-of-mass motion for a bipedal walking gait. The researchers derive inspiration from the locomotion of birds.

The Science Pub presentation is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. 2nd St. in Corvallis. Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

About the OSU College of Engineering

The OSU College of Engineering is among the nation¹s largest and most productive engineering programs. Since 1999, the college has more than tripled its research expenditures to $37.2 million by emphasizing highly collaborative research that solves global problems. It is a leader in signature research areas, including precision health, clean energy, resilient infrastructure and advanced manufacturing; and targeted strategic areas, including robotics, materials research and clean water.

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