Robot learning pushes back the origins of walking


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Animals may have perfected the art of walking on Earth earlier than ever, new research suggests. Scientists now believe effective land-based locomotives prized the evolution of Amnotes, the large group including reptiles, birds and mammals. The study focused on Orobates Pabsty, a great peasants-like plant-eater who lived around 290 million years ago and thought of his close relationship with Amnesty. Orobates' fossil remains have been preserved to provide trucks, providing insights into its movement and pace. To explore its walking style, scientists created both a digital reconstruction of the creature and a moving robot dubbed the "Orobot". These simulations are based on information from fossils and measurements of four living amphibians and reptile species. The team led by Dr Joan Nikakatura, from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, found that Orobates is probably capable of more upright walking than has already been suspected. "Our metric shows that Orobates expressed more advanced locomotion than was previously assumed for Tetrapods (four-legged animals), which suggests that advanced terrestrial locomotion offered the diversification of the crown of Amniotics," scientists wrote in the journal Nature. Australian Associated Press

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