WASHINGTON, D.C.--The robotics field is making great strides. Scientists kicked off the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting yesterday by showing how robots are starting to walk bipedally. Steven Collins of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues showed off several robots that use a "passive-dynamic" control system involving simple actuators and motors to create an energy-efficient gait that depends on gravity. Like people, these robots walk by falling forward in a controlled manner. Some of the robots were also described in this week's issue of Science.
Check out the paper and some movies of the robots in motion here: http://www.sciencemag.org/feature/misc/hp_jumps/robots/index.html