Researchers at MIT recently released a robotic beast. A new algorithm developed by MIT researchers lets the DARPA-funded robotic cheetah run and jump on its own.
The Pentagon says they are investigating technologies that allow machines to travel across various terrain in unique ways. At least, that’s what they say in public. How long until we see titanium teeth and machine guns strapped on this bad boy?
Check out the clip below to see the robotic cheetah in action.
In an indoor track, the robot managed to sprint up to 10 mph and clear hurdles. MIT researchers believe this version of the cheetah could top out at 30 mph. It still has a ways to go before it can compete with the 60 mph of a real cheetah.
30 mph would break the current record, though. In 2012, Boston Dynamics’ cheetah hit 28.3 mph. Watch the terrifying video below. Seriously, could you imagine if that thing was chasing you?
MIT News explains how the algorithm works.
The key to the bounding algorithm is in programming each of the robot’s legs to exert a certain amount of force in the split second during which it hits the ground, in order to maintain a given speed: In general, the faster the desired speed, the more force must be applied to propel the robot forward.
Sangbae Kim, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, talked about how their robot differs from more traditional ones. “Most robots are sluggish and heavy, and thus they cannot control force in high-speed situations.”
“That’s what makes the MIT cheetah so special: You can actually control the force profile for a very short period of time, followed by a hefty impact with the ground, which makes it more stable, agile, and dynamic,” Kim adds.
Kim, along with his colleagues, will be at the IEEE/RSJ INternational Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Chicago this month to talk about their algorithm in detail.