Run, Lola, Run

Stick insects are sluggish animals that live in bushes and trees. In science however, they are being used as a model for constructing robots designed to walk on two legs like a human being. JOHNNIE is a robot that can walk at speeds of over 2 kph. But now the researchers have a new goal: LOLA. And LOLA should even be able to run. But before that can happen there is plenty of work to do....

 
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01
Run, Lola, Run: Episode 01, 15/04/2008

JOHNNIE and LOLA

 

JOHNNIE is still learning. Running, skipping and jumping, which seems mere child's play to humans, presents huge challenges to the walking robot. How does human locomotion work? Can this be translated directly into robot technology? The team led by Ansgar Büschges is thinking big: LOLA is going to run. The blueprint is provided by nature. But what animal would be the most suitable model?

At a glance

Field of Research: Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Systems Technology
 
Location: Bielefeld, Cologne, Jena, Munich
 
Episodes: 12
 
Season/Year: 1. Season/ 2008
 
Status: Finished
 
Topics: walking robot, professor pfeiffer, accuracy, speed, elegance, akwardness
 
 
15.04.2008

JOHNNIE and LOLA

JOHNNIE is still learning. Running, skipping and jumping, which seems mere child's play to humans, presents huge challenges to the walking robot. How does human locomotion work?
 
22.04.2008

Animal Stars

Stick insects are the unsung heroes of walking researchers. They have upper legs, lower legs and feet just like humans.
 
29.04.2008

On the Treadmill

It walks and walks and walks, but how? In order not to stumble, the stick insect has to optimally coordinate its 6 legs and 18 joints. But how can scientists investigate its locomotor system?
 
06.05.2008

Sharp Curves

Today's topic is walking around bends. To study this, the stick insect is placed on the slippery plate, so that it can walk without resistance. But what is the stick insect's technique for walking along curved paths?
 
13.05.2008

Crossing Gaps

Stick insects can get across gaps as wide as the length of the animals themselves. A computer simulation developed from their movements will be used to help LOLA learn to cross gaps.
 
20.05.2008

Walking for LOLA

The stick insect gets a break today: it's the human’s turn on the treadmill. The researchers from the University of Jena want to get a handle on how humans walk.
 
27.05.2008

The Jena Walker

How do human beings run, and how do they walk? Scientists from the walking lab in Jena have been studying this question for over four years. The team is currently working on the Jena Walker...
 
03.06.2008

The Laptop Walker

He moves forwards, but the Jena Walker is too slow and is suspended in a carrying frame. But LOLA is supposed to walk. But the transition to "real" walking poses new challenges...
 
10.06.2008

A Foot for LOLA

JOHNNIE the walking robot is too slow. So his successor LOLA is getting new feet with a moveable toe joint. JOHNNIE’s stiff robot shoes are out.
 
17.06.2008

Simulated Training

JOHNNIE is still one step ahead of LOLA: while the walking robot can already move in the real world, LOLA still only moves in a virtual one. But this is soon going to change....
 
24.06.2008

55 Kilos "Live Weight"

LOLA is exactly 1.8 metres tall and 55 kilos in weight. Mechanical engineer Sebastian Lohmeier built LOLA as a stable and lightweight structure. Its lower leg is the largest part of this.
 
01.07.2008

When Will LOLA Run?

LOLA does run, but unfortunately only on the computer. To make LOLA walk, the scientists have studied stick insects. LOLA is now going to have an artificial neural network fitted.
 
 
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