Mini-Cheetah – MIT’s new “almost invulnerable” cheetah robot

Recently, employees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Biomimetic Robotics Lab demonstrated the potential of their new creation, the Mini-Cheetah cheetah robot. Do not confuse this robot with a cheetah robot developed by the famous company Boston Dynamics. The Boston Dynamics cheetah robot is a rather large and very fast robot, and the MIT cheetah robot is distinguished by its dexterity, first of all, and the very high reliability of its design. We remind our readers that it was the MIT cheetah robot that became the first four-legged robot to perform a flip back jump.

The latest version of the cheetah robot, the Super Mini-Cheetah, is the result of long-term work that began almost a decade ago. The development of this robot was carried out within the framework of the M3 program of the Pentagon DARPA Advanced Research Programs Office, from which increased requirements for the reliability of the robot design came from. The term “practically invulnerable” used in the title, of course, does not mean that the Mini-Cheetah robot can withstand a 1-ton building concrete block falling from it from a high height, in this case, as they say, “there is no reception against scrap”. But the design of this robot is able to withstand severe loads without damage that occur when this robot performs various acrobatic stunts, when falling from a certain height, etc.

Mini Cheetah robot

The latest version of the Mini-Cheetah robot weighs only 9 kilograms. He, like his predecessors, can do somersaults, turn around 360 degrees during the jump and make complex movements, combining various walking styles.

Note that the Mini-Cheetah robot has a modular design, thanks to which the Biomimetic Robotics Lab specialists have already developed various models of the same robot designed to perform various tasks, the Cheetah 2, Cheetah 3 and Junior Cheetah. However, the basic model that you see in the pictures and videos shown here is the most versatile and has the maximum number of different features.

Since the beginning of this year, specialists at the Biomimetic Robotics Lab have built nine new robots that, together with the very first instance, are designed to organize shows at the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Note that the MIT team was one of the five teams that demonstrated their four-legged pets at the ICRA conference. Other four-legged robots are ANYbotics ANYmal, Ghost Robotics GR Vision, Unitree Laikago and Boston Dynamics Spot Mini.

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