I read a fascinating article on the BBC website about a self-learning, dynamic robot, which has been built around the theories of Nikolai Bernstein; the main concept could very well be part of a trading system (though I hate that "trading system" name!).

Runbot can adapt to changes in the terrain!

Roboticists are using the lessons of a 1930s human physiologist to build the world's fastest walking robot. RunBot is a self-learning, dynamic robot, which has been built around the theories of Nikolai Bernstein. (…) Bernstein said that animal movement was not under the total control of the brain but rather, "local circuits" did most of the command and control work. The brain was involved in the process of walking, he said, only when the understood parameters were altered, such as moving from one type of terrain to another, or dealing with uneven surfaces.

The basic walking steps of RunBot, which has been built by scientists co-operating across Europe, are controlled by reflex information received by peripheral sensors on the joints and feet of the robot, as well as an accelerometer which monitors the pitch of the machine. These sensors pass data on to local neural loops - the equivalent of local circuits - which analyse the information and make adjustments to the gait of the robot in real time.

Information from sensors is constantly created by the interaction of the robot with the terrain so that RunBot can adjust its step if there is a change in the environment. As the robot takes each step, control circuits ensure that the joints are not overstretched and that the next step begins. But if the robot encounters an obstacle, or a dramatic change in the terrain, such as a slope, then the higher level functions of the robot - the learning circuitries - are used.

About half of the time during a gait cycle we (humans) are not doing anything, just falling forward. We are propelling ourselves over and over again - like releasing a spring.


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