Human-like combat robots are about to become reality

Tram Ho

A new study from scientists from the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) shows that nothing can stop the US military from producing combat robots that can walk like humans — at least from strength angle. Research shows that the construction of the legs has essentially the same amount of power as the crawler wheel, so there is no disadvantage in using them.

In the PLoS ONE study, the scientists show that both artificial and biological motion systems — including vehicles ranging from 1 gram to 35 tons — have approximately the same energy requirements to move a single unit. mass position on land. Animals that use legs or machines that use wheels or crawlers use the same amount of energy.

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The study uses something called the Heglund Formula, which estimates the energy required for an animal’s movement, as a basis. This formula shows considerable consistency between large and small terrestrial animals, but excludes anthropogenic terrestrial vehicles. Research and development based on the original formula for application to man-made and designed vehicles using different types of locomotives.

So, from a power perspective, engineers have given the green light to design walking war machines up to 35 tons (for anything over 35 tons, they will need a formula other). A four-legged combat robot, like the ED-209 from Robocop or a robot from the Gundam universe, would use the same amount of energy as an M1A2 Abrams tank.

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Self-propelled law enforcement robot ED-209 from the 1987 movie Robocop.

Leged combat vehicles have several advantages over tracked and wheeled vehicles. For example, a vehicle with legs can go down steep hills more easily or over rocky fields or other very rough terrain. Operators sit at a higher position than conventional combat vehicles, giving them a better view.

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However, a combat vehicle will not really encounter steep or rocky roads very often. On the other hand, a higher sitting position can give a wide field of view on the battlefield, but enemies will also detect it from a greater distance than a low battle tank. In addition, the legs concentrate the vehicle’s weight into a relatively small area, as opposed to tank track wheels, making them prone to jamming.

The lead author of the study himself did not encourage the realization of the idea of ​​​​large combat robots like the AT-AT of Star Wars. Author Alexander Kott told Forbes: “I doubt the practicality of large machines with legs, except in highly specialized contexts.”

Reference: Popularmechanics

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Source : Genk