MIT's Mini Cheetah Robot Can Backflip

Mindy Sparks
March 5, 2019

The new Mini Cheetah is also capable of walking upside-down, much to the horror of the onlookers. "At only 20 pounds, the limber quadruped can bend and swing its legs wide, enabling it to walk either right side up or upside down", the university wrote in a description of the video. Its party trick is performing a 360-degree backflip, but the robot's speed and agility are its most impressive features.

As the video above reveals, the mini cheetah can cope with being kicked on multiple points of its body.

The flexible quadruped runs faster than an average human walks; it swings and bends like a yogi and uses its rotating limbs to maintain ideal balance.

MIT researchers claim the robot is created to be "virtually indestructible", recovering with little damage even if a backflip ends in a fall.

Each of the robot's legs is powered by three low-priced electric motors that the researchers engineered using off-the-shelf parts.

Lead developer Benjamin Katz, a technical associate in MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, said: "A big part of why we built this robot is that it makes it so easy to experiment and just try insane things, because the robot is super robust and doesn't break easily, and if it does break, it's easy and not very expensive to fix".

To that end the Mini Cheetah could prove quite useful when it comes to surveying disaster areas, or zones where humans simply cannot fit. It would be impossible to watch the Mini Cheetah run through a pile and leaves and not think "Awwww, who's a good boy?" The miniature version of the Cheetah 3 robot which rather appears like a small dog rolls over and its joints are said to be capable of spinning three times faster.

Thanks to its high torque and low weight, Mini Cheetah is fast and dynamic while maneuvering, and it handles anything rough terrain can throw at it without breaking a limb or a gearbox. With better trajectory optimization Mini Cheetah can do backflips.

MIT researchers are aiming to build a set of atleast ten such four-legged machines each of which they hope to "loan out" to other labs.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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