MAY 29, 2015 01:00 PM PDT

This Mechanical Running & Jumping Cheetah Could Be the Military's Next Secret Weapon

Researchers over at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have spent the better part of the last few years building a mechanical quadruped capable of not only running at a fast pace, but also capable of observing the path that it is running towards for obstacles and then jumping over the obstacle to the other side safely.

This machine can run and jump over obstacles simultaneously.

According to the report from MIT, the robot cheetah can calculate the speed it's running at, then calculate the height of the obstacle coming before it, and then based on the variables it's given, it can calculate the proper amount of force to apply to the legs to get the body up in the air high enough to clear the obstacle.

Even cooler is that when the beast lands, it resumes its pace. It's like an unstoppable Terminator cat that just gives you the evil-eyed look that says, "Come at me bro!"

The heavy mechanized cheetah was able to clear obstacles as high as 18 inches while traveling at an average distance of 5 miles per hour.

Check out MIT's video demonstration below:



So how does it do that? - According to MIT, the machine uses a special visual technology called LIDAR, which relies on the reflections of laser beams to help visualize the terrain in front of it.

Advanced mathematical algorithms are used to help the beast accurately decide how high to jump. MIT notes that the robot is programmed with feasibility in mind rather than optimization.

"If you want to optimize for, say, energy efficiency, you would want the robot to barely clear the obstacle - but that's dangerous, and finding a truly optimal solution would take a lot of computing time," says Sangbae Kim, an assistant professor at MIT. "In running, we don't want to spend a lot of time to find a better solution. We just want one that's feasible."

With its time saving algorithm in mind, this machine is capable of quick reaction times and impressively satisfying results of around 90% accuracy.

At this point in time, jump testing has been performed on an indoor treadmill, but researchers still want to fine-tune the machine's performance on less-controlled terrain, such as sand, dirt, and rocks. This would make the machine a viable candidate for military use that could one day keep military personnel out of harm's way.

After all, the project is funded in part by the military.

Source: MIT

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 07, 2018
Technology
OCT 07, 2018
Adaptable Prosthetic: The Smart Seat Cushion
Developers at the University of Texas at Arlington have recently patented a smart seat cushion that utilizes changes in air pressure to allow the redistrib...
OCT 07, 2018
Technology
OCT 07, 2018
Wristband Warns Dangerous UV Exposure
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation consists of electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength shorter in length than the visible region and longer than that of soft X-r...
OCT 31, 2018
Technology
OCT 31, 2018
Improving Wireless Communication: Brain-Inspired Machine Learning
Seeking reliable and efficient communication is a must and as always been a hot-bed of research. Now, a technique creating the latest buzz involves a combi...
NOV 05, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 05, 2018
NASA Waves Goodbye to its Asteroid Belt-Centric Dawn Mission
In 2007, NASA launched the Dawn mission to explore the Asteroid Belt between the planets of Mars and Jupiter. The Dawn spacecraft was employed to study two...
NOV 29, 2018
Earth & The Environment
NOV 29, 2018
How serious are we about solar geoengineering?
Just how close are we exactly to launching a large-scale solar geoengineering project? That’s the question a new study published recently in Environm...
NOV 29, 2018
Videos
Loading Comments...