Our sister site Translogic visits the University of Michigan in their latest episode to check out a bipedal robot named MABEL. While other similar robots like ASIMO (built by Honda), and the Partner Robots (from Toyota) have wowed crowds with their ability to walk upright, MABEL advances the technology with a complex system of springs in its knees so that its gait more resembles actual human locomotion. This enables MABEL to actually run like a human, with both "feet" leaving the ground for part of each stride.
MABEL actually set a world record for fastest two-legged machine last summer, hitting a peak pace of 6.8 miles per hour. (By comparison, ASIMO tops out at 3.7 mph.) More importantly, MABEL is able to walk and run over more than just flat terrain, as it can dynamically balance similar to a human. University of Michigan researchers say this technology may be able to help the disabled regain the ability to walk some day, or be deployed for future vehicles that don't use wheels.
Watch the full episode below.