MIT researchers and scientists have trained their cheetah robot to jump over hurdle race as it runs – making it the first four-legged robot that can run speedy and jump over obstacles autonomously.

MIT’s researchers spent years to making this kind of Cheetah robot that will become a more efficient runner and jumper over obstacles autonomously. And now after a long period of time that’s successfully done.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers had demonstrated last year that the Cheetah robot was able to run untethered. The main speciality of this cheetah robot is that to perform the appropriate controlled command to the feat of the robot by the robot without the use of cameras or other vision systems.

mit cheetah robot jump over hurdle race
mit cheetah robot jump over hurdle race

MIT Cheetah Robot creators probably thought it was time to give it a major upgrade: the metal quadruped can now autonomously jump over hurdles like a trained Cheetah or Horse.

To work the cheetah robot as a trained runner and jumper over hurdle race cheetah or horse without using any of the vision control system, they used the onboard LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system. It is an optical detection system that works on the principle of radar, but uses light from a laser. The main application of LIDAR system in this cheetah robot to provide a visual system that uses reflections from a laser to map terrain.

Chetah robot
Chetah robot

The researchers of cheetah robot developed a three-part algorithm that able to plan out the robot’s path, based on LIDAR reflection data. Both the vision and path-planning system are onboard the robot, giving a complete autonomous control to this four lag cheetah robot.

To get a running jump, the robot plans out its path, much similar as a human runner in hurdle race: As it detects an approaching obstruction in the path, it estimates that object’s height and distance. The robot gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the obstacle, before exerting enough force to push up and over to the object. Based on the obstacle’s height, the cheetah robot then applies a certain amount of force to land safely, before resuming its initial pace.

Yes it’s successfully done by MIT researchers with their new invention of four lag cheetah robot. Cheetah robot can automatically detect and leap over multiple objects while it runs — even without a preventer. The researchers claim it’s the “first four-legged robot” to be able to do so, and we’ll bet they’ll train it further to leap over much higher walls, as well as give future machines the same ability.

For a real time experiments on a treadmill and an indoor track, the cheetah robot cleared successfully obstacles up to 18 inches tall – more than half of the cheetah robot’s own height. In this entire experiment robot maintaining an average running speed of 8 km per hour.

Watch: MIT cheetah robot lands the running jump:

The team tested the MIT cheetah’s robot jumping ability first on a treadmill, then on a track. On the treadmill, the robot ran tethered in place, as researchers placed obstacles of varying heights on the belt. As the treadmill itself was only about four metres long, the cheetah robot, running in the centre, only had one metre in which to detect the obstacle and plan out its jump.

After multiple runs, the cheetah robot successfully completes the task about 70% of the hurdle race. In comparison, tests on an indoor track proved much easier, as the robot had more space and time in which to see, approach, and clear obstacles. In these runs, the cheetah robot successfully completes the task about 90 % of obstacles in the path. The team is now working on getting the MIT cheetah robot to jump over hurdle race while running on softer location, like a gramineceous field.


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