University of Wyoming’s Jeff Clune Wins Popular Science’s Top Prize for Development of Self-Recovering Robots

Published by , November 23, 2015 11:50 am

(SweetwaterNow) — Jeff Clune, a University of Wyoming assistant professor in computer science in the College of Engineering and Applied Science has received Popular Science’s top prize — “The Best of What’s New” award for the development of self-recovering robots. Clune and his team programmed robots to adapt to an “injury,” meaning the robots quickly learn to move in spite of damaged limbs. In less than two minutes, a six-legged creature could learn to compensate for two broken legs. Using the same technique, the researchers also created a robotic arm that could continue to move objects in spite of multiple malfunctioning motors.

“The Best of What’s New awards honor the innovations that surprise and amaze us — those that challenge our view of what’s possible in the future,” Cliff Ransom, editor-in-chief of Popular Science, said. “The award is Popular Science’s top prize, and the 100 winners — chosen from among thousands of nominees — are each a revolution in their respective fields.” The winners, the Best of What’s New, are awarded inclusion in the much-anticipated December issue of Popular Science, the most widely read issue of the year. Popular Science is the world’s largest science and technology magazine.

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