In case you haven’t noticed, robots have come a long way.
All of that to say, they can do some pretty impressive stuff. The one we’re about to show you, however, can navigate almost any kind of terrain. Or at least, that’s the goal.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been working on a cheetah robot that can navigate difficult environments for some time now. They demonstrated last year that it could run untethered. But now, without any onboard cameras or vision systems, the cheetah robot can detect objects as it runs toward them, alter its movement to prepare for them, and then jump to clear them completely.
Instead of a camera, the robot relies on a laser distance sensor to perceive its environment. These lasers tell the cheetah how far away the object is, and how high it will have to jump to get over it. An algorithm then calculates the leg thrust required to complete the action. So far, it can leap over objects as tall as 40cm (more than half of its own height) while running at a cool 8km/h. The cheetah robot is said to complete about 70 per cent of its obstacles.
Check it out above.