Amazing! That’s the best word I can think of the describe the robot you are about to see on the video below. It is a quite amazing running and jumping robot. I have seen this robot cheetah from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before, but I certainly did not expect to see it hurdle. If the police had one of these, I certainly wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of the criminal that they set this thing on.
This from MIT News, 29th May 2015:
In a leap for robot development, the MIT researchers who built a robotic cheetah have now trained it to see and jump over hurdles as it runs — making this the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously.
To get a running jump, the robot plans out its path, much like a human runner: As it detects an approaching obstacle, it estimates that object’s height and distance. The robot gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the obstacle, before exerting enough force to push up and over. Based on the obstacle’s height, the robot then applies a certain amount of force to land safely, before resuming its initial pace.
In experiments on a treadmill and an indoor track, the cheetah robot successfully cleared obstacles up to 18 inches tall — more than half of the robot’s own height — while maintaining an average running speed of 5 miles per hour.
“A running jump is a truly dynamic behavior,” says Sangbae Kim, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. “You have to manage balance and energy, and be able to handle impact after landing. Our robot is specifically designed for those highly dynamic behaviors.”
Kim is now working on getting the MIT cheetah to jump over hurdles while running on softer terrain, like a grassy field.
This research was funded in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.