Advances in robotics have been coming quickly in numerous markets. Many of these developments have taken the form of animals in order to take advantage of these creatures’ agility and speed.
The most famous of these robotic beasts is Boston Dynamics door-opening Spot robot that travels on four legs and can work with other similar robots to accomplish tasks.
However, there is a growing list of robots that are under development that are based on animals or insects such as robot delivery dogs, a DIY robotic cat, a dancing quadrupedal robot from ETH Zurich called ANYmal, fish robots that can complete tasks such as inspection or data acquisition and cockroach robots that can walk on water.
Now, MIT has introduced a mini cheetah robot that can do backflips and land upright to continue along its journey. The quadrupedal robot can bend and swing its legs wide, enabling it to walk either right side up or upside down. It can also traverse uneven terrain about twice as fast as an average person walks over it.
Weighing just 20 pounds, the mini robot cheetah can also run, scoot sideways, hop and even roll itself upright when put entirely on its back.
The mini cheetah robot is shown in the video to flip and travel quickly around inside and outside of the MIT campus and shows that it could be used in future search and rescue efforts or used for inspection in areas that are difficult for humans to reach easily. However, there is still work to be done as the video shows many of the outtakes involving the robot where things don’t go as smoothly every time.