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Meet the first four legged robot that can do backflips

MIT Cheetah Robot
The robot walks twice as fast as humans even on unever terrain Credit: Bryce Vickmark/MIT

MIT has unvieled a cheetah shaped four-legged robot that can do a full backflips, like a gymnast. The mini cheeta robot can also traverse unever terrain faster than most humans and weighs only 9 kilograms.

The yet unnamed robot which presumably has military uses among others, is designed to be resilient, in fact the robot can walk upside-down if it ever is knocked down, is deemed to be virtually indestructible.

Modular design, easy repairs

The robot is designed like a Lego with modular components that can be easily replaced in case of failures. Each leg has three motors powered by batteries that were made using part available in any store making it cheap to produce and repair.

“You could put these parts together, almost like Legos,”
Benjamin Katz, MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering

The low cost of making the robot means the researchers can experiment with the robot and test if for a variety of uses without the cost of failure.

The researchers plan to accelerate the research by loaning the mini cheetah to other researchers to test different algorithm and eventuall run them in an actual robo-dog/cheetah race.

Integrated, ruggedly tested

Benjamin Katz four-legged robot backflip
Credit: Bryce Vickmark / MIT

The robot is much more integrated vesion of its predecessors and has been tested through several manouvers that included running through hallways of MIT and its the uneven grounds outside.

The robot could run almost 5 mile per hour (9 kilometers per hour) on both terrains, and the researchers estimate it could run twice as first with some tunings to its algorithms.

The researchers are now working on an algorithm to land the quadruped feet-first when thrown.

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