Robot cheetah demonstrates efficient new motors




MIT aka Ng Security Industries


I'm pretty sure that these are the cats that Ng's dogs will be chasing in the dystopian anarco-capitalist future...


Only when they have doggy brains

I'd say they're a long way from implanting a pit bull's brain!

"the design enables the impact energy of the robot's leg hitting the ground to be captured and fed into the robot's battery."

Isn't it better to capture the energy in a spring like the much debated prosthetics of the amputee runner Oscar Pistorius? It was said they stored the impact energy more efficiently than human tendons, enabling him to maximize his momentum.


I assume that the spring gives you better efficiency (a motor driven backwards is a generator; but not necessarily a good one, and battery charging doesn't help); but motors have the advantage of being exquisitely controllable. Unless you are talking some retro brushed job or something, you can control the current flow through each segment of coil as your application requires, moving between near-zero resistance and maximum torque(in either direction) at lightning speed.

Springs have simplicity and efficiency; but if you really want to be pushing off now and the spring in your joint insists that it is going to be soaking up all your effort until it reaches it's set tension, not much to be done.

Now, a system capable of dynamically modifying the springiness of materials, or of engaging/disengaging elastic components from the limb on demand... That would be quite a toy.


I'm not so keen about the whole chasing cats thing.


Oh good I was hoping they could make these killing machines more efficient.


Not quite as terrifying as the cheetah created by the now Google-owned Boston Dynamics.


Don't worry. Poison mandibles violate the Geneva convention when not used against civilians!


I for one welcome the fact that our feline overlords now have improved robotic servants.


Half as fast as a real cheetah, but, more importantly, still 29 1/2 mph faster than me.


Only until your exoskeleton is ready. The arms race has now been democratized! Hooray?


Seems to me a simple pneumatic cylinder with big ports would do the trick. It can act as a spring, or as an actuator from rest with a supply of compressed air, or a damper for deceleration. Or anything in between. Imagineering was all over this decades ago.


Pneumatics definitely have it for assorted eerily lifelike motions, though I think that team robotics tends to resent the noisy compressor part of the equation. Fine if you have a tethered supply from somewhere; but if you ever want your robot to sneak around, standard pneumatics probably won't cut it.


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