25 May '15, 12pm

X2-VelociRoACH Smashes Speed Record for Tiny Legged Robots

X2-VelociRoACH Smashes Speed Record for Tiny Legged Robots

“In this work we explore increasing the maximum attainable speed of a legged robotic platform by pushing its stride frequency to an extreme value.” Need we say more? Okay, how about this: you’re about to see one of the fastest legged robots ever built . Don’t blink, because if you blink, you’ll miss UC Berkeley’s X2-VelociRoACH zipping past. I’m not exaggerating even a little bit, just watch: It only weighs 54 grams, but the X2-VelociRoACH is running here at 4.9 meters per second (17.6 km/h, or 11 mph), sustainably. This is by far the fastest legged robot of its size, although as far as legged robots go, we’re obligated to point out that it’s slower than Boston Dynamics’ enormous, complicated, and expensive hydraulic quadrupeds . Making VelociRoACH go faster was, in some sense, relatively straightforward. Legged animals have two different ways of increasing their speed: ei...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hard...

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