-Bipedal robot Cassie can move its legs forward and back, side to side, and twist them, with butts that have three degrees of an option, just like those of humans.
-If bipedal robots can be adequately optimized, they could be utilized for everything from search-and-rescue purposes and package shipment to exoskeletons and prosthetic limbs.
Two-legged robots are not new. But creating a bipedal machine that is as fast, agile, and talented as a human? That’s something exceptional.
Mastering the actions required to move on hind legs is hard. Humans use various senses to achieve the finesse that the easy task of walking requires, including balance, proprioception (knowing where your different parts are concerning others), and kinesthesia ( understanding how different body parts move to each other). Replicating those functions in a machine and then getting them to work together seamlessly is very challenging.
However, Agility Robotics has accomplished to create Cassie, an impressive biped that features significantly smoother motion and improved balance than earlier designs.
To build Cassie, the Agility Robotics crew built on experimentation from their earlier robot, ATRIAS, whose tool for movement is similar to a pogo stick. They voted on a much simplistic design for Cassie, with enhanced motors placed at the machine’s hip joints and ankles. As a conclusion, Cassie can move its legs forward and back, side to side, and revolve them simultaneously, with a 3-degrees-of-freedom hip just like that found in humans. The motors on its ankles even support it to stand still, unlike ATRIAS, which had to keep moving in place to maintain balance.
The whole chassis is very lightweight and is designed to absorb shock in a natural way, as we do when we walk. But it’s also hard enough that it doesn’t need a safety harness in case it falls, like several other robots. That’s pretty remarkable for a robot created from scratch over the last few months.
An efficient, robust, bipedal robot that can go where humans go and don’t cost a fortune would be a benefit to many industries, and could also do dangerous jobs like emergency area reconnaissance or nuclear plant inspection. And if you’re busy, why not send your Cassie to the market?