Tags: mit | robot | cheetah | run | jump | without | leash

MIT Robot Cheetah Can Now Run and Jump Without a Leash

By    |   Monday, 15 Sep 2014 08:16 PM

The cheetah robot at MIT is learning new tricks, and it can actually roam around without a leash.

The robotic cheetah, whose only real likeness to the furry animal is a few cheetah-patterned mechanical body parts, has been improved by the lab team at the Biomimetics Robotics Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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When it was first created, the cheetah-bot could only run tethered on a treadmill. But now, new video from the school shows the robot running and jumping on a grassy lawn.

Story continues below video.

“The general goal of our lab is to understand the locomotion aspect of animals,” said Sangbae Kim, an associate professor of mechanical engineer, on the MIT video explaining the project. “Recently we are focusing on quadrupeds, or four-legged animals, and we try to understand how they efficiently run in the field and nature.”

For instance, the lab team studied the way a real cheetah uses its tail and how that plays into its speed. Adding a tail to the cheetah-bot, the researchers found that an outside disturbance that was large enough to knock over a cheetah was mitigated by the tail, which stabilized movement.

Kim said in the MIT video explaining the cheetah robot that the technology that comes out of such designs could someday be used to create efficient artificial limbs or even create transportation that doesn’t require roads.

The cheetah, which is the fastest land animal, was studied extensively by researchers so they could understand the mechanics of its movements and apply them to the robot.

Real cheetahs can hit 60 mph and MIT’s researchers are hoping their robot will make it to 30 mph. That would top another cheetah robot made by Boston Dynamics.

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The cheetah robot at MIT is learning new tricks, and it can actually roam around without a leash.
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Monday, 15 Sep 2014 08:16 PM
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