Cheetah Robot 2| MIT

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a robot that runs like a human and jumps like a Cheetah.

Courtesy of MIT

Courtesy of MIT

This research funded by DARPA is focussed on creating a machine that can be used to find people or perform emergency tasks during a disaster. This had not been deemed possible till now as legged robots were neither energy-efficient nor autonomous. MIT researcher Sangbae Kim used biomimetics to solve this problem confronting the robotics industry. The movement of a Cheetah is agile and easy on its legs, an important factor for energy-efficiency. The robot that has the same weight and size as a female Cheetah can run up to one and a half hours continuously at a speed of 5 mph.

The Cheetah robot 2 not only runs but also has the sense of vision to jump hurdles while maintaining a steady pace. The robot does not require human control and is completely autonomous. The vision sensor uses LIDAR, a laser technology that detects obstacles through reflection, to map terrain. It determines the height of the obstacle as well as distance from it enabling the Cheetah to assess and modify its stride to prepare for the jump, while creating minimum impact and energy loss after landing.

Courtesy of MIT- Photography: MIT

Courtesy of MIT- Photography: MIT

On a treadmill, with only 1 metre to detect the obstacles, the Cheetah robot was able to successfully clear about 70%, while on an outdoor track it cleared about 90% of the hurdles.

By: Sahiba Gulati

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