Thursday, 12 July 2007

Tai chi teaches robots to be less clumsy

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Imagine leaving for work in the morning knowing all of your household chores would be done by the time you got home...by your robot. It's probably too much to wish for, but some scientists think it's possible to create robots that help humans in a variety of different ways. The problem, however, is that robots don't move smoothly like humans do. Roomba, a popular floor cleaning robot, works because it has no appendages and because it has only one job -- vacuuming the floor. If robots could be trained to move in a more efficient way, then they could be built to be more useful to humans.

One roboticist is turning to Tai Chi to help his robots. By observing a Tai Chi master do various movements that minimize effort, the roboticist has been able to develop computer models to help his virtual robot (the robot still "lives" in the computer) to make more simpler movements with less computations.

Tai Chi may or may not be good for robots, but it is good for you. Learn more about it here.

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