Friday, April 19, 2024

The MIT Mini Cheetah robot can backflip and play soccer

The videos of humanoid and quadruped robots in action became one of the classic productions of Boston Dynamics, a robot manufacturer that knows how to be under the Google wing and is now part of Softbank. This time it is the turn of the MIT Biomimetics Robotics Lab with Mini Cheetah, an accessible, lightweight, and robust prototype robot with the ability to run, walk, jump, and spin on itself. And now the robot can even play soccer.

Weighing just 9kg (20 lbs), the Mini Cheetah has 12 electric motors and can reach a speed of two and a half meters per second. This time, the MIT presented a new update of its quadruped robots doing backflip out of leaf piles, kicking a soccer ball, which is shown in the video, in addition to performing pirouettes at the request of the human operator.

Beyond the striking things that Mini Cheetah can do, this type of project in charge of the MIT laboratory seeks to solve mobility problems in environments where robust and flexible equipment is required.

The funny thing about this device is that it does not work with cameras or motion sensors. It can be manipulated with remote control and autonomously with two algorithms, one of contact detection and another of predictive control.