Robots with squidgy paws could navigate uneven terrain


The TRACEPaw robotic foot

The deformation of the base of the TRACEPaw foot gives information about what is being stepped on

Jørgen Anker Olsen

Robots could negotiate awkward terrain surefootedly thanks to squidgy paws containing cameras.

Tejal Barnwal at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Jørgen Anker Olsen at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and their colleagues have developed what they call a Terrain Recognition and Contact Force Estimation Paw (TRACEPaw).

The bottom part of the foot is half a silicone ball, which deforms as the robot walks. Inside the ball, a camera takes…

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