MIT researchers have developed the first robotic cheetah that can see and jump over hurdles autonomously as it runs. The robot plans out its path, similar to humans, to get a running jump, and as it detects an approaching obstacle, the algorithm estimates that object’s height and distance. The robot then gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the obstacle, before exerting enough force to push up and over. Lastly, it applies a certain amount of force to land safely, based on the obstacle’s height. Continue reading for a video and more information.
“In experiments on a treadmill and an indoor track, the cheetah robot successfully cleared obstacles up to 18 inches tall – more than half of the robot’s own height – while maintaining an average running speed of 5 miles per hour,” according to MIT.