Meet the first four-legged robot to do a backflip
The four-legged robot called mini cheetah weighs only nine kg.
A team of MIT researchers has developed a four-legged robot that can succesfully perform backflip. Surprising, right? Many of us are not able to do a backflip. This mini robot that weighs 9kg can run at an average speed of around 9.1km/hr. It can also trot over an uneven terrain twice as fast as an average person's walking speed.
Bejamin Katz, the lead developer of the project and also a technical associate at 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 crazy 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."
The mini cheetah robot can bend and swing its legs wide, enabling it to walk either right side up or upside down. The electric motor design of the robot has involved reconfiguring the parts to small, commercially available motors normally used in drones and remote-controlled airplanes. Each leg of the robot has been powered by three identical, low-cost, electric motors, which have been engineered using the off-the-shelf parts.
The mini cheetah is the elder sibling of Cheetah 3, a large, heavy, formidable robot. Cheetah 3 often needed to be stablised to protect its expensive, custom-designed parts.
The researchers will present the mini cheetah’s design at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, in May. They are building more four-legged robots which will be loaned out to other labs. Watch the video of mini cheetah doing backflip: