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It is the fastest robot in the world, inspired by nature: the cheetah robot that can run, jump over obstacles, and plan a route in changing conditions.
When it comes to four-legged robots, running in a variety of terrain conditions is not an easy feat. Therefore, in the world of robots, movement is a complex concept that is gradually being explored. As well as the various conditions that require rapid adaptation (such as smooth surfaces, physical obstacles, uneven terrain), stress and running speed can also be quite challenging, which can put extensive stress on the hardware.
The Mini Cheetah, MIT’s new version, differs from previous versions (Cheatah 3) that used fast controllers and moved based on the physics of movement, providing a hierarchy of controllers to enable the robot to run and balance (similar to a Boston Dynamics robot called Spot). The new method relies on a model of real-time learning that is paired with a simulator that speeds up the robot’s learning process without forcing it out on the field, as reported on news.mit.edu.
The cheetah robot was developed with the help of MIT researchers from the CSAIL Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Pentagon’s central research agency. This robot, like other academic studies, is intended as a demonstration of an idea than as a finished piece of equipment, and the goal is to show how well a robot can be adapted to a real-world environment. In addition, it confirms that simulations and neural networks outperform manual programming, and heralds a new age when robots will walk, or run among us.