DURUS Brings Human-Like Gait (and Fancy Shoes) to Hyper-Efficient Robots
In the middle of the DRC Finals last year, SRI’s DURUS robot slowly and steadily spent over two and a half hours walking 2 kilometers on a single battery charge. This was a Big Deal: DARPA had recognized from the beginning that the original version of ATLAS was horrendously impractical (at least in terms of locomotion), so they funded two different teams, one from SRI and one from Sandia, to design a humanoid robot that could walk 20x more efficiently. SRI’s DURUS came very, very close to this goal, achieving a cost of transport of just 1.5 through an innovative combination of hardware, software, and especially gait control.
The guy whose job it is to play with this robot is Professor Aaron Ames, who spent much of the last year moving his Advanced Mechanical Bipedal Experimental Robotics Lab from Texas A&M to Georgia Tech, which is why we haven’t heard anything exciting about DURUS since the DRC.
It sounds like they just got everything up and running a few months ago, and they’re now ready to share an impressive new behavior: DURUS can now walk just like a human, while wearing normal (and stylish) human shoes.