Researchers at the University of Bielefeld’s Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology have developed a curious machine by the name of HECTOR (Hexapod Cognitive autonomously Operating Robot).  This robot resembles something more like an insect than a machine.  It has six legs, weighs about 27 pounds, and is a little over 3 feet tall.  The whole thing is powered by a new kind of elastic joint that mimics muscle movements.  It is capable of carrying about two times its weight with less than one tenth of an inch of leg deformation.  It has a modular sensor design, so depending on the task it is designated to do, an array of different sensors can be attached, allowing researchers to test the robot in many ways.  HECTOR’s programing resembles that of many different forms of insects.  It is programed to respond to different stimuli and it has the ability to learn and plan its next steps.  If it is caught in a ditch it will try a few ways of getting out until it finds a successful one and then if it is in a similar situation, it will use what it learned and complete the task faster.  This piece of technology can traverse unfamiliar terrain and explore areas with ease.  


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