Human Reflexes Keep 'Little Hermes' Robot Upright

"Little Hermes" is a small-scale bipedal robot designed to go places that are unsafe for humans. Engineers from the University of Illinois and MIT developed the robot, which can walk, run, jump, and interact with the environment in synchrony with a human operator. Little Hermes relies on human reflexes to remain upright during locomotion. The research team developed a motion-capture suit, which is like an exoskeleton worn by a human operator, according to University of Illinois engineering professor João Ramos. The suit captures the operator’s motion and the forces the operator exerts on the environment to move, and transfers that data to the robot, which reproduces the motion with little to no delay.