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Mini Cheetah Is First Four-Legged Robot to Do a Backflip


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The mini cheetah robot weighs in at just 20 pounds.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have engineered a four-legged robot that can perform a 360-degree backflip from a standing position.

Credit: Bryce Vickmark

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have engineered a four-legged robot modeled after a cheetah.

The 20-pound mini cheetah robot is basically a powerpack that can bend and swing its legs wide, so it can walk either right-side up or upside down, as well as trotting over uneven ground at about twice the speed of an average person.

The robot also can right itself after being kicked to the ground by swinging its elbows quickly, and is able to perform a 360-degree backflip from a standing position.

The robot can compensate for a broken limb or motor, as each leg is powered by three identical, swappable electric motors built from off-the-shelf parts.

MIT's Benjamin Katz said the mini cheetah's modular design is advantageous compared to a larger predecessor, because adding or modifying the smaller robot does not require an across-the-board redesign.

From MIT News
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