MIT’s Cheetah robot keeps getting improvements. The latest version can climb stairs and leap across rough terrain while maintaining its balance if shoved or yanked. This mechanical unit weighs 90lbs. It is about the size of a Labrador and can move around without relying on cameras or smart sensors.
The engineers have given this robot blind locomotion capability, so it gets around by feeling its way through its surroundings:
Vision can be noisy, slightly inaccurate, and sometimes not available, and if you rely too much on vision, your robot has to be very accurate in position and eventually will be slow. So we want the robot to rely more on tactile information. That way, it can handle unexpected obstacles while moving fast.
explained Sangbae Kim, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. The Cheetah 3 can blindly make its way up staircases and through unstructured terrain thanks to contact detection and model-predictive control algorithms.