The Hajime Robot 31, built by researchers at Hayashibara Lab (Chiba Institute of Technology), was recently taken for a walk outside. It’s a 1 meter tall humanoid that regularly competes at RoboCup in the Teen Size category. As you’ll see in the video, it can handle slightly uneven ground without falling over, but it loses some parts of its exoskeleton in the process.
It’s a bit hard to tell from the video whether it’s the walking vibrations or simply a windy day that caused the bits to come off, but what is clear is that more work needs to be done on its balance. Even minor undulations in the ground plane cause the robot to sway somewhat perilously. This is why the work being done on MABEL at the University of Michigan is so interesting; it hardly misses a beat even when the ground height changes unexpectedly, such as a drop of 3.5 inches, which is massive by robot standards.
Video (walking on uneven ground):
Hajime Robot 31 does manage to look rather happy with itself on the straight and narrow…
Video (walking on even ground):
[source: YasuoHayashibara @ YouTube]