Here’s a video of a four-legged robot called Mini Cheetah developed by Biomimetic Robotics Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) doing backflips – a skill yet to be accomplished by any fellow quadruped robot. Cool, right. Well, for now, it is sure fun to see them performing circus act. Just wait till they get enough artificial intelligence and it will be their turn us do the same – at photo-gun-point. Here’s to hoping that won’t happen.
This new 9 kilograms (20 lbs) robot can run at 2.45 meters per second (which is equivalent to 8.8 km/h or 5.5 mph). Though not nearly as fast as an average person, but it sure can catch with certain groups and devour them. Just kidding. It won’t. I mean, the devour part. In addition to back-flipping and running, it can make quick side-to-side movement, make quick rotations like a dog before it finds the perfect bearing to poop and pronk like gazelles (albeit not as high).
It will resist pushover too, but in the event it fails to resist being pushed over and falls, it can get back up and take its revenge. Just kidding again. It won’t. It will just get back up and that’s it. It can also take landing which means, it can make jumps from, say, higher to lower ground, and maintain balance. Also, it is somewhat articulated. Basically, in short, this thing is very agile. Almost like a real animal that could walk the park with.
While capable, technophobes do not need to be alarm. As the bloopers you find in the video below shows that this little guy weren’t as successful in pulling all those things at one go. It will be needing more tweaks and further improvements. Made no mistake though. It (and the rest of them) will get there eventually. We just have to be prepared.
Mini Cheetah is the second robot to pull off backflips, but it is still the first quadruped to do so. Its biped counterpart, Boston Dynamics’ Atlas, not only can do backflips, but now also does parkour too. I only imagine the worst if soft robotics, AI and robots like this were to come together one day… yikes! Anyways, keep going for a video of Mini Cheetah doing its thing.
Images: YouTube (MIT).