ANYmal Quadruped Robot Dog
ANYmal, a quadruped robot dog developed by researchers at ETH Zurch, successfully learned how to hike over a steep mountain in the Swiss Alps without any human intervention. It managed to figure out how to walk over any terrain by combining data from what its sensors can see with existing knowledge of the surroundings, just like humans or other animals. In the future, the team hopes that it can be used to reach areas that are too dangerous or inaccessible to humans. Read more for two videos and additional information.

Unlike other robots, ANYmal’s control system enables it to prioritize its sense of touch over its visual perception. This was put to the test on a hiking route up Mount Etzel in the Swiss Alps which stands 3,602-feet above sea level. If testing goes smoothly here on Earth, the researchers also hope to deploy the robot on space missions and possibly even to other planets.

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For traversing stairs, the other quadrupedal robots typically require that a dedicated mode is engaged, and the robot must be properly oriented with respect to the stairs. In contrast, our controller does not require any special mode for stairs, and can traverse stairs natively in any direction and any orientation, such as sideways, diagonally, and turning around on the stairway,” said the researchers.

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