Even the most advanced of their kind, like those developed by engineers at Boston Dynamics, have taken years to evolve beyond the sure-footedness of a toddler stumbling on an ice rink.

How might they find their footing?

Researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a robotic leg capable of walking without preprogrammed knowledge of how to do it.

It’s an impressive feat that could help future robots navigate the world independently.

Inspired by animals like impala and wildebeest, whose young become skilled runners within minutes of birth, the USC limb uses a bio-inspired artificial intelligence algorithm to learn about its environment and refine its mobility.

“Biological systems continue to be the inspiration and envy of roboticist — even now that we have so much computational power,” Francisco Valero-Cuevas, USC engineer and lead research on the project, told Digital Trends.

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