A Dutch researcher has developed a robot which he claims can "walk like a human".
Daan Hobbelen of TU Delft will receive his PhD for the device, which he has called Flame.
The project is the latest in a long line of TU Delft research programmes that aim to examine the way humans walk and create robots that emulate this action.
Hobbelen concentrated on replacing the cautious, rigid way in which robots have traditionally walked, with the more fluid, energy-efficient movement used by humans.
The researcher describes how his "breakthrough" came in inventing a suitable method for measuring the stability of the way people walk for the first time. He describes this natural human gait as "falling forward in a controlled fashion".
'Flame' contains seven motors, an 'organ of balance' and various algorithms which ensure a high level of stability.
The robot can apply the information provided by its organ of balance to place its feet slightly further apart in order to prevent a potential fall.
Hobbelen believes that 'Flame' is the most advanced walking robot in the world, at least in the category of robots which apply the human method of walking as a starting principle.
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