LEONARDO Bi-pedal Robot Walk Slackline Skateboard
Here’s an up-close look at LEONARDO (LEgs ONboARD drOne), an innovative robot developed by Caltech researchers that can not only walk a slackline, but also hop, as well as ride a skateboard. It’s touted as the world’s first robot that uses multi-joint legs and propeller-based thrusters to achieve a finer degree of control over its balance. Unlike other bipedal robots, LEONARDO utilizes a hybrid movement that is somewhere between walking and flying. Read more for the video and additional information.

The robot stands around 2.5-feet tall and comes equipped with two legs that have three actuated joints, along with four propeller thrusters mounted at an angle at its shoulders. When it starts walking, the propellers ensure that it remains upright as it moves, and the leg actuators change the position of the legs to adjust the robot’s center of mass forward through the use of a synchronized walking and flying controller. During flight, the robot only uses its propellers and flies like a drone.

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Based on the types of obstacles it needs to traverse, LEO can choose to use either walking or flying, or blend the two as needed. In addition, LEO is capable of performing unusual locomotion maneuvers that even in humans require a mastery of balance, like walking on a slackline and skateboarding,” said Patrick Spieler, co-lead author of the Science Robotics paper.

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