The flipping hexapod robot that can climb stairs and jump obstacles
The six-legged robot is not bound by the obstacles that have restricted its kind for years.
University of Pennsylvania engineering professor Daniel Koditschek and fifth-year PhD student Aaron Johnson developed the droid that can jump over gaps and climb ledges – obstacles that have impeded mobile robots in the past.
Mr. Johnson explained: “Even just walking takes a lot of coordination on the part of the robot. On the joystick I just hit the forward button and it goes. But, it’s actually coordinating all six legs to work in sync.”
The researchers built the robot, called X-RHex Lite, using lightweight carbon fibre, allowing the small bot to perform its leaping and climbing functions without consuming too much power. This way, the robot can keep moving after clearing an obstacle.
Professor Koditschek says legged robots like X-RHex Lite were originally conceived to mimic the mobility of animals, and that robotics research is just beginning to scratch the surface of what animals can do.
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