AI News, Clever Modular Robots Turn Legs Into Arms on Demand

Clever Modular Robots Turn Legs Into Arms on Demand

Robots that can be physically reconfigured to do lots of different things are, in theory, a great way to maximize versatility while saving time and effort.

You could, if you had a lot of time to kill and nothing better to do, pre-compute every possible combination of gaits and transitions in advance, but who would want to do that when you could instead “create new gaits online to enable rapid deployment minutes after reconfiguration.” Okay, yeah, that may not sound super exciting, but it means you can teach a dodecapod robot to transitioninto a septapod robot that can carry stuff with two arms while using a third to point a camera.

Programmed in advance, that is, which is fine, except that as robots get more modular and easier to physically reconfigure, it becomes more and more useful to have a generalized system that can dynamically generate gaits (and transitions between gaits) on the fly no matter what the leg configuration of your robot happens to be.

You could, if you had a lot of time to kill and nothing better to do, pre-compute every possible combination of gaits and transitions in advance, but who would want to do that when you could instead “create new gaits online to enable rapid deployment minutes after reconfiguration.” Okay, yeah, that may not sound super exciting, but it means you can teach a dodecapod robot to transition into a septapod robot that can carry stuff with two arms while using a third to point a camera.

Gait training strategies to optimize walking ability in people with stroke: A synthesis of the evidence

Given the many mechanisms which contribute to gait and the varying tasks and environments under which gait is utilized, an intervention that addresses different elements underlying walking and the broader framework of mobility might be optimal.

These programs generally have two, if not all three of the following components: graded strengthening using functional tasks (e.g., repetitive rise from a chair, stepping up and down a stepper), aerobic component (e.g., graded walking activity, stationary bicycle or goal of continuous period of functional tasks at least at a moderate intensity) and a variety of challenging walking activities with substantial postural control demands (e.g., walking backwards, on foam or stepping over obstacles).

The authors of these studies provide some indication of how the intensity is progressed (e.g., increasing heart rate or perceived exertion at set target zones, increasing number of repetitions, reduction of rest breaks).

The inpatient study by Blennerhassett and Dite [86] added a 4 week, 50 min group mobility and endurance circuit to standard of care treatment and had large effects with a 120% improvement in 6MWT of the circuit group compared to 60% improvement in the control group and these effects were maintained at 6 months after the extra training ended.

[84,85] evaluated the effects of a therapist-supervised home program which targeted balance, endurance, strength, flexibility and upper extremity function compared to usual care (about half of which received no physical therapy or occupational therapy services).

The small sample (n=20) study [84] found a trend towards improvement in gait speed, while the larger study (n=100) [85] found greater improvement in the 6MWT and gait speed with participants in the home program.

We performed a meta-analysis and found that intensive mobility training had a small significant homogeneous effect size (d=0.20, 95% CI −0.03 to 0.44, p=0.04) for the 6WMT [87,89,91–93] and a small homogenous effect size for walking speed (d=0.45, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.77, p<

Self-efficacy can be enhanced by an individual having positive experiences in executing walking tasks (mastery experience) or receiving verbal affirmation of their abilities from others (verbal persuasion), and also by the individual observing others successfully practising the tasks (vicarious experience) [115].

[93] attribute their improvements to three factors: 1) the exercise equipment could be used at home and exercises could be progressed independently, 2) a high level of social support may have motivated participants and 3) the follow-up assessment may have provided incentive to adhere to the program.

[116] found that three groups (stretching control group, resistance exercise group and agility exercise group) of older adults all continued to improve their function in the year after the intervention ended.

[48] reviewed 6 randomized controlled trials [58,117–121] for the effect of treatment time (total number of hours of therapy) on walking speed in people with stroke and found a significant effect size of 0.19.

Mechanical Impedance and Its Relations to Motor Control, Limb Dynamics, and Motion Biomechanics

Other factors affecting mechanical impedance include the body/support interface, such as footwear and terrain (e.g., ground stiffness) [150].

Static evaluation of the stiffness of various football boots in inversion–eversion motion showed that when using rigidly attached high boots, ligamentous load on the subtalar joint is reduced considerably [151].

For a one-DOF inverted pendulum model representing the colliding leg in running, the natural frequency of the cushioning mechanism was estimated using linearized and extended Kalman filter estimators [153].

Testing of the coupling of footwear and the supporting ground confirmed that ground stiffness strongly affects the impact forces and that it should therefore be considered as an essential parameter in footwear design [154].

Ground stiffness and damping were also reported to influence hopping strategies through adjustment of the spring-like mechanics of the leg and surface combination to regulate the body center of mass and work output during exercise [155].

The dynamics of impact to the hip during a fall was studied during pelvis release experiments in which the dynamic response of the body to a step change in vertical force applied to the hip was measured.

The effective moving mass was located at the hip and one vertical spring–damper combination represented the structural properties of the skin, fat, and muscle within the contact area, as well as the compressive properties of the proximal femur, hip joint, and pelvis.

The remaining elements were two horizontally oriented elements that consisted of the combined flexural stiffness and damping of the muscles and ligaments that span the spine and connect the pelvis to the trunk and lower limbs.

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