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Robot Dogs Have Now Learned How To Open Doors With Their Legs

robot dog army
robot dog army

In yet another step towards sealing our own demise, scientists have now taught robot dogs how to open various doors with their front legs.

This is a big achievement for robot dogs because, as Alex Wilkins of New Scientist explained, “Four-legged robots like Spot, the star of Boston Dynamics’ viral videos, normally need an arm attached to their body to open doors or pick up objects, but this can add significant weight and make it harder for the robot to squeeze through narrow spaces.

Researchers from ETH Zurich in Switzerland, however, have taught a machine-learning model of robot dog – an ANYmal robot made by ANYbotics – to perform several tasks using just its leg.

“In order to interact with and manipulate their environments, most legged robots are equipped with a dedicated robot arm, which means additional mass and mechanical complexity compared to standard legged robots,” the researchers wrote.

“In this work, we explore pedipulation – using the legs of a legged robot for manipulation. By training a reinforcement learning policy that tracks position targets for one foot, we enable a dedicated pedipulation controller that is robust to disturbances, has a large workspace through whole-body behaviors, and can reach far-away targets with gait emergence, enabling loco-pedipulation.

“By deploying our controller on a quadrupedal robot using teleoperation, we demonstrate various real-world tasks such as door opening, sample collection, and pushing obstacles.”

Videos of their robot dog show it opening doors, a refrigerator, carrying a bag, pressing a button, pushing an obstacle, and collecting rocks.

They also show that their robot dog is more resistant to disturbances like being pushed walking on a slippery surface.

“We cannot do everything with the legs that we could do with an arm – right now, a hand is way more dexterous. But the point is really to make this work for applications where you maybe have mass constraints, or we don’t want to have that additional complexity, like for space exploration where every kilogram of such a robot counts,” Philip Arm of ETH Zurich told New Scientist.

The post Robot Dogs Have Now Learned How To Open Doors With Their Legs appeared first on BroBible.


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