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­. of Michigan Expert Puts Bird-Like Robot Through Its Paces

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The Cassie robot.

University of Michigan researchers hope a two-legged robot named "Cassie" could be the forerunner of a machine that one day will aid search-and-rescue efforts.

Credit: Mike Householder/AP

University of Michigan researchers are working with "Cassie," a two-legged robot bird they say could eventually be used in search-and-rescue missions.

The robot stands upright on legs with backward-facing knees, weighs about 66 pounds (30 kg.), stands more than 3.25 feet (1 meter) tall, and is equipped with motors, computers, and batteries that enable it to walk unassisted on uneven terrain.

The researchers purchased Cassie using grant money from the U.S. National Science Foundation and Toyota Research Institute.

The team will use the robot to put Michigan Robotics' cutting-edge programming to the test, says Michigan Robotics director Jessy Grizzle.

The researchers plan to further develop the robotic system so it can walk around the perimeter of an industrial site taking three-dimensional scans, an achievement they say is no more than two years away.

The researchers currently are developing the first version of the algorithms they will use to control the robot.

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