Earlier this week, Agility Robotics presented their latest robot. Named Cassie, this new bipedal robot has a somewhat bizarre walk. As such, most resemble it to a chicken or ostrich.
Over these past few months, the world of robotics presented some interesting new devices. From ones that resemble bats to others that are almost invisible, now it’s the chicken’s turn to inspire. Cassie, the domain’s latest reveal, is a bipedal robot.
The area in itself is a much-researched one. This area of mechanical engineering has been facing many difficulties. Some quite notorious ones. Nonetheless, it also has quite a few sources of inspiration.
Cassie was developed and built by Agility Robotics. And is a descendant of ATRIAS. This too is a bipedal robot. It was built by Oregon State University researchers last year. Agility Robotics emerged from this same university.
As can be expected, Cassie and ATRIAS present similarities. Nonetheless, the latest technological advances also underline their differences. Cassie presents a stable and precise gait. When developing the robot, the scientists drew inspiration from nature. More precisely, from birds and especially ostriches.
Cassie’s freedom of move has some limitations. Which also seem to resemble an ostrich’s, and a human’s. the bipedal robot can move its hips in three degrees of freedom. It comes with powered but flexible ankles. But its knees only allow one flex.
As such, Cassie has quite a natural looking gait. One inspired by chickens. And also a steering mechanism that resembles our own. Its increased maneuverability is based on the advances in leg design. The computing area has also been reporting some important developments. Coupled with battery advances, these are some of the technologies that differentiate it from ATRIAS.
Nonetheless, they do share their similar traits. Or more exactly, Cassie can thank ATRIAS for a few of its abilities. Just as it, the bipedal robot can place its legs both quickly and carefully. As such, this helps ensure that it does not stumble, slip, or fall. Be it from natural causes or naughty pranks.
Cassie was built with a lightweight chassis. This was designed to absorb shocks in a more natural way. Which can also be another example of biomimicry. This is the process of taking inspiration from nature when trying to solve difficult problems.
Besides being light, Cassie’s chassis is also tough. As such, it does not require additional protection in case it falls. For example, it would not need a safety harness. This latter is a method applied to quite a number of robots. It is used in order to protect them against falls.
Cassie was built and developed over a period of just a few months. It draws inspiration from nature. And also makes use of the knowledge gained from studying ATRIAS. Combined, these elements led to the creation of a lightweight but robust bipedal robot.
This can prove to be quite efficient and useful. It could follow humans and go wherever they go. And its costs do not have to be that high. Such a robot could come to be utilized in many industrial areas. It could also come to be used in more dangerous jobs. For example, in reconnaissance missions. Its easy, stable gait could carry it along well enough over various terrains.
It may eventually even be used in casual, day-to-day tasks. Perhaps even for helping you to carry your groceries. Or to directly deliver them to your doorstep.
Image Source: Wikimedia