The MIT Cheetah 3 robot does not need to see stairs, a new MIT video is shown. Even without cameras to avoid sight obstacles, the 90-pound robot is equipped with new algorithms that help it navigate its environment through touch.
We've seen robots climb stairs before, like the adorable Boston Dynamics SpotMini. But Spot uses cameras. And the team behind Cheetah 3 wants it to work without seeing the road in front of it; relying too much on the vision could slow it down or cause it to trip. "What happens if you step on something that a camera can not see? What will it do?" Sangbae Kim, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT who designed the robot, says in a press release. "That's where blind locomotion can help." We do not want to rely too much on our vision. "
The plan is for the robot to venture where humans can not, such as power plants inside for inspections, says an MIT press release. dirty and difficult can be made much more secure through remote controlled robots, "says Kim, but a robot may not be able to see in these environments, after all, the radiation inside the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant Daiichi rubbed the camera on a robot sent to look for particles of nuclear fuel.
That's why the team used algorithms and sensors to give the robot proprioception, a sense of where its body is in space. It also has new predictive algorithms that help the Cheetah 3 to change its gait to avoid tripping or falling.
The robot shows its s new features in MIT Video, such as its ability to climb stairs.
At least, most of the time.
The robot can also wobble and spin, thanks to the updates of its hardware.
However, the most horrible features revealed in the video are the invertables knee joints of the robot. They bend incorrectly – leaving the robot to spin without turning . Have you ever gotten your knee on a trampoline? This hurts just to see.
But the video compensates for the trauma of seeing the knee bend backwards with the "pronk" mode. Please, enjoy it, because those who are in the background looking at the robot are undoubtedly walking.
Previous iterations of the Cheetah robots broke the ground speed record and cleared obstacles almost two feet high. At the rate that the Cheetah robots are progressing, whoever is wielding that cane will want to rethink pushing these adorable frightening or terribly adorable robots.