So we covered running “killer” robots by Boston Dynamics a few weeks ago, which was amazing. We’re seeing much more similar projects out there in the past few years, showing the new trend of tech startups to invest in these robotic projects. Another promising robotic solution, developed by MIT researchers, shows one, nicknamed “Cheetah”, that can run and jump to bypass obstacles using some advanced real-time camera action.
It can jump!
So the new robot has a built-in camera called LIDAR. This camera is basically a 2D laser distance sensor — to detect if there’s a barrier in its path, tested to handle anything up to 40 cm high. It then estimates height and distance and a three-part algorithm works out the most optimal position to ensure the bot can clear the obstacle and make the landing before even leaping into the air. Very advanced stuff at play here, running complex calculations in real time.
Many of these cool robot projects are funded by DARPA. These projects may very well be used in the future by military reasons. Some rumors are talking about using larger versions of these robots to follow soldiers around carrying their loads. Other uses could be combat robots, disabling bombs…etc
Check the Cheetah MIT robot on the treadmill doing some training.