samzenpus from the I've-fallen-and-I-can't-compute dept.
wjousts writes "Up until now, most work with humanoid robotics has focused on keeping them upright and balanced, but in the real world, falling down is inevitable. So now researcher in Chile are looking at teaching their Soccerbots how to fall down gracefully to minimize damage and allow for a quick recovery.
According to a New Scientist article, 'They found that one of the main ways to minimise damage is for the robot to fold its legs underneath it. Among other things, that means the robot is much less likely to hit its head on the ground. Another good strategy is to use a fall sequence consisting of several movements, so the falling body has several points of contact with the ground, spreading the energy of the impact over a large number of joints, rather than taking it all in one disastrous crunch.'"
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will
surprise you with their ingenuity.
-- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.