Researchers at the University of Bremen, Germany have developed “iStruct” an apelike robot that is able to balance and walk on 4 as well as 2 feet.
The aim of the project is to develop a robotic system as well as biologically inspired structural components which, if applied to a robotic system, effectively improve its locomotion and mobility characteristics. All elements are designed and build as self-contained as possible decentralizing sensing, control and communication. The robot itself is supposed to be a test platform for foot and spine structures.
This contraption, built by applied mathematicians Leif Ristroph and Stephen Childress of New York University, is not the first small ornithopter — a flying machine capable of hovering by a flapping-wing motion, such as that of dragonflies and hummingbirds. What distinguishes Ristroph and Childress’s craft from other flapping insectoid biomimikry robots is that it can remain stable in flight using the movement of its wings alone, without the need for additional stabilizers or complex feedback control loops to avoid flipping over.