Team Makes Robot Hips More Human

Mercury, a robot developed by University of Texas engineers, moves its hips to maintain balance and avoid collisions.

Mercury is a new robot developed over the last six years by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin School of Engineering. It was built to demonstrate how instrumental hips are to making biped robots move like a human.

Mercury moves its hips to maintain balance and avoid collisions, which, once again, is tested by the researchers rifling objects at the robot.

By taking a basic human skill and turning it into a mathematical equation, the team was able to program autonomous robots to maintain balance. The technique is called inverse kinematics, and it is often used in 3D animation to give cartoon characters realistic-looking movements. Mercury uses low-level motor position controllers, and the work could be used in everything from emergency response to to entertainment.

As they say, these hips don't lie. Well, at least until they're put into the robots at the KinkySdollS robot brothel headed to Houston — then it will likely be part of their standard operating procedure. 

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