It is not an easy task to teach bipedal robots to keep balance while walking on any terrain. A few years ago, experts from Oregon State University (US) demonstrated their achievement in this area – a bulky robot called ATRIAS (Assume The Robot Is A Sphere). Its structure, skills, self-balancing and walking were inspired by running birds, the ostrich in particular.
The scientists had been continuously improving their scientific research, but the developers from Agility Robotics presented an improved version called Cassie two years later. The robot is deprived of the body (in the usual sense of the word), the head and manipulator hands. This solution helped to optimize its navigation on rough surfaces and improve its self-balancing.
According to Jonathan Hurst, associate professor of robotics at the Department of the University of Oregon, they are not trying to duplicate an animal’s appearance, but pay attention to the methods that animals use for efficient and sustainable movement. In the future, the robots following bipedal Cassie will contribute to the delivery service, perform dangerous tasks in disaster areas or intelligence. As the developers say, Cassie’s price will be much lower than that of humanoid robots.
New developments in the field of design, battery capacity, limb physiology and computing allowed to make Cassie significantly more maneuverable in comparison with ATRIAS. In addition, new materials making up its components and the body are more durable and they will not be damaged when the robot falls – there is nothing to be broken or fractured.