Well, some websites wrote that "Robotic legs with an unconventional design inspired by flightless birds can run 300 per cent more efficiently than the same device would if designed traditionally.".

I couldn't find an online version to read the article, but the article itself says that it is "energy-efficient".

Assuming it is not just an unbased affirmation, why is that bird-like robots are more energy efficient while walking?


1 Answer 1


You might try searching IEEE Explore for papers on the subject. The IEEE sponsors a humanoid robotics conference each fall that publishes a journal. I attended one year and I think I recall a couple of papers that might have touched on this. The papers are not free, but sometimes if you search the web you can find free preprints.

Some reasons for increased efficiency in bird-like bipedal robots include:

  • Stability: Bird-like robots often have a lower center of gravity and a wider base due to their legs being angled outward, which can provide better stability than humanoid robots with vertically aligned legs. This stability can make it easier for bird-like robots to maintain balance, especially on uneven terrain. This would simplify the control system and/or control algorithms required, possibly requiring fewer and/or less complex sensors that add additional weight.

  • Passive dynamics: Bird-like robots can take advantage of passive dynamics, which rely on the robot's mechanical design and natural forces like gravity to conserve energy while walking or running. For example, the inverted pendulum model used in bird-like robots can result in efficient gait patterns that minimize energy consumption. This would lead to much longer battery life, assuming the robot is untethered.

  • Simplicity: Bird-like robots typically have fewer joints and degrees of freedom compared to humanoid robots, which can simplify the design and control algorithms needed for locomotion. This reduced complexity can make bird-like robots less prone to mechanical failures and easier to maintain. This would greatly simplify the mechanical design, requiring fewer and lighter actuators. The weight of a robot arm increases linearly with both required torque and number of degrees of freedom, requiring more power.

  • Adaptability: Bird-like robots can often traverse a wider range of environments, such as climbing steep inclines or navigating rough terrain, more easily than humanoid robots. Their unique leg designs can allow for greater flexibility and adaptability to various conditions.


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