There has been a new mobility breakthrough in the world of humanoid like robotics at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The AIST’s HRP-4C, is able to turn approximately 90 degrees in approximately one second by pivoting on the ball of its foot Looking at the robot from a Kinesiology, (the scientific study of human movement) viewpoint is fascinating. When a human wants to turn quickly we usually step, plant and pivot. However bipedal robots usually have to take a number of tiny steps as they rotate their hip joint to reposition their legs, which is slower, less natural, and less efficient than this method. If the ground or floor is too rough the swivel method may not work. Earlier this year both the HOAP-2 and WABIAN did quick turns by sliding on their feet as well. It looks like this method could become an industry standard. Next thing you know they'll be doing the moon walk.
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