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Agility Robotics is a startup from the College of Engineering at Oregon State University which has just introduced their first robot. Her name is Cassie and she can perform various activities, from rescue and search missions to home deliveries.
Cassie has similar hip joints to that of a human and has the freedom to perform several moves, such as moving her legs forward and backward, side to side, rotating them both at the same time. It can even be effective in snow and rain.
After looking at it for the first time, Cassie might look like it was designed to mimic an animal, since it looks strikingly similar to an ostrich. However, this was not what guided the scientists when they developed it.
Damion Shelton, the CEO of Agility Robotics, declared that Cassie was developed on the basis of a former project of a bipedal robot called ATRIUS. They took the physics used by ATRIUS and optimized the mechanics. Thus, they obtained the peculiar similarity to an ostrich.
It might have been a bit unexpected that the robot ended up looking like this. Yet, this design is successful since it allows Cassie to function without needing constant recharging or a big battery. It can run between 6 and 8 hours in one charge, which is probably the most important proof of its practicality.
However, we might still have a few years ahead before seeing Cassie running around on our streets. For the next months, Cassie will be offered for research in the industrial and academic fields. Afterwards, she might prove as an alternative to other ground vehicle platforms, such as the PackBot developed by iRobot for military search and rescue missions.
If she proves effective in such tough missions, Cassie might become available in more commercial settings, too. For example, it can work as a delivery robot and serve as an alternative to other delivery systems, such as Amazon Prime Air. Maybe the robot won’t be able to perform the entire ride from the sender to the recipient, but it can save some time and bring the package from the delivery vehicle to the house.
The robot is still not in its final form. That is, do not expect to see the robot ostrich on the street. The developers said that, after performing all the necessary optimizations, Cassie’s commercial version might look slightly different.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons