A robot that can run 20 mph for 2 hours without recharging? Either we are closing in on being taken over by robots, or Amazon has found a new toy. Drone flies in a platoon of Outrunners, and they deploy your Amazon Prime goods across the neighborhood.
The new system, by Robotics Unlimited, isn’t autonomous. There is a human pilot controlling the robot’s movements across varying terrain. The 20 mph mark can only be hit on level terrain, but the Outrunner can get across hills and rougher environments.
Sebastian Colton, one of the head research scientists at Robotics Unlimited talked to the press about the breakthrough and using six legs versus two. “One of the hardest things with bipedal locomotion is swinging the leg forward. That’s a very complicated motion, so we took a different approach to simplify the mechanics by having the legs spinning.”
For now, the robot is in the development phase. The company is using Kickstarter to showcase the possibilities of the robot. Setting a goal of $150,000, the team is nearing $50,000 with 11 days to go. Those looking for a cool Christmas gift for your kids may have to put those plans on hold.
On their Kickstarter page, the team has hailed their progress at making an affordable, running robot. “Since our first prototypes, we have come a long way and have been able to overcome many challenges. We have been able to do what really few people have been able to do: get a robot to run while selling it at an affordable price.”
You have to hand it to the upstart team, the device looks like a blast to play around with. Who wouldn’t want to chase their nephew around the yard with one of these things? Better yet, in the case of my nephew, terrorizing the rest of the family with what would be his new favorite toy.