Delft University’s planar running robot Phides can reach speeds of 2.2 mph with a flight phase of 54 percent of each stride

Robots are learning to walk and run at Delft University

By Jason Falconer
November 23, 2012

Leo and Phides – two planar biped robots built at the Delft University of Technology – are walking and running, respectively. Leo improved its walking gait through reinforcement learning, which shapes behavior by rewarding success and punishing failure. Phides, the running robot, has achieved an impressive flight phase (the period in a running stride in which both feet are off the ground).

Reinforcement learning (RL) normally favors computer simulation, not only because the hundreds (if not thousands) of trials can be run faster, but because real hardware would likely break down from the stress. Leo was built to test how RL would work in the real world. “Too little is yet known about the compatibility with real, actual hardware,” explains PhD candidate Erik Schuitema. “It is a strength of TU Delft that it is able to create that very combination.”

Read more: Robots are learning to walk and run at Delft University — gizmag.

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