MIT specialists have trained their Cheetah robot on new tricks. Now, for example, a robot is capable of climbing and descending the stairs, as well as avoiding obstacles without having to see them in front of you with the help of its cameras. And this is only a small part of what was put into the updated Cheetah 3 model due to new algorithms.
Robots that are able to climb the stairs, of course, you will not be surprised. One should at least remember the same robot SpotMini from the company Boston Dynamics or the same Asimo, the development of which the Japanese company Honda recently decided to stop. However, they all use cameras to move around. The developers of Cheetah 3, in turn, want their robot to be able to work its way, even without seeing what is in front of it. If you rely entirely on vision, consider robotics, then the effectiveness of robots can significantly decrease in real conditions.
“What happens if the robot moves around where the cameras are useless? What in that case should he do? That's why we endowed our robot with the ability to “blindly move.” We do not want to depend very much on his view, “commented Sangbe Kim, a mechanical engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who developed the robot.
In the future, this robot can be used where people can not work. For example, deep inside a nuclear power plant where it can be used to inspect the technical condition of an object.
“Dangerous, dirty and very complex work will become much easier with remote robots,” Kim says.
However, the robot is not always will be able to see the surrounding environment. For example, robotics engineers who are trying to use robots to survey the situation inside the reactor of the Japanese nuclear power plant in Fukushima have faced the problem of video cameras coming out due to the excessively high level of radiation. Yes there cameras, robots themselves fail under such conditions.
That is why robots from MIT decided to use in Cheetah 3 new sensors and algorithms that give it a “sense” of proprioception (the feeling of one's own position in the surrounding space). In addition, the update affected and the mechanisms responsible for the flexibility of the robot. He also received updated predictive algorithms that allow Cheetah 3 to change its gait in order to avoid falling or losing balance in this or that situation.
The updated model is able to wiggle and spin on the spot.
To climb the stairs.
Although not always successful.
Most of all, the new possibility of the machine is impressive – the ability to instantly “turn” due to the changing direction of the knee joints.
Another robot learned to ride on the spot.
And added to the stability.
Recall that an earlier version of the robot Cheetah set a record speed of running, and still could jump obstacles up to 60 centimeters.