Using a big-cat inspired algorithm that tells each of the metal legs to exert force the split second it hits the ground, the robo-cheetah was already on its way to becoming a four-legged T-1000, clocking an an impressive 30 mph in an open field.
But now, the addition of a laser sensor and “brain” upgrade allow it to autonomously dodge obstacles. Upon detection of a roadblock, the bot repositions its legs to prepare for the jump, then the algorithm recalibrates thrust and force requirements needed by each leg for takeoff and landing.
I’m not sure if this is amazing, or terrifying – but it definitely works.
Even while bouncing around, The bot is also surprisingly quiet because it doesn’t rely on gasoline to move. “Our electric robot can be silent and as efficient as animals,” says MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering Sangbae Kim. “The only things you hear are the feet hitting the ground.”
It might not be enough to fool an antelope just yet – but this bot is only going to get better. We’re excited to see the next upgrade. John Connor? Not so much.