The robotic cheetah first made its name last fall, when the researchers at MIT showed off its top speed of 10 miles per hour or mph. But, now the robot can jump over hurdles.
The cheetah bot is the first robot that can spot obstacles from a distance and cleat then with a running jump without any assistance from humans.
The bot will be showing its leaping abilities at DARP’s Robotic Challenge Finals, which will be held next week in Pomana, California.
Robot uses a visual system known as light detection and ranging or lidar to see objects that appear in front of it. The system sends out a small laser of light that bounces off objects and is reflected back. This lidar system lets the robot create a virtual map of its terrain, which is then sent to an onboard computer programmed with a series of path planning algorithms.
The algorithm helps the robot make sense of the environment and enable it to determine which path to take.
Sangbae Kim, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT said, “A running jump is a truly dynamic behavior, you have to manage balance and energy, and be able to handle impact after landing. Our robot is specifically designed for those highly dynamic behaviors.”
Now the robot can clear obstacles at the speed of 5 mph and it can jump over objects as tall as 18 inches, which is more than half of its own weight.
So far, the leaping activities of the cheetah have been tested on both a treadmill and an indoor track.
The researchers would like to test out cheetahs cross country skill, and the nest trial could take place on softer terrain, such as grassy fields.