Raptor-Inspired Robot Runs Like the Wind
Kyle Maxey posted on June 02, 2014 |
A velociraptor-inspired bipedal robot clocks in at a top speed of 46 km/h. Could its design lead to ...

robot, KAIST, velociraptor, speed, runningResearchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a sprinting robot that’s capable of reaching a top speed of 46 km/h (28.5 mph).

Unlike it’s forbearers at Boston Dynamics, the KAIST raptor is a lightweight machine featuring two carbon-fiber/epoxy composite feet, featherweight legs and two motors, one for each limb. Beyond those components the robot also has a mechanical Achilles tendon that acts as a shock absorber and energy restorer giving the machine an efficient gait. To finish the velocirobot’s design, the KAIST team also added a counter weighted pole that mimics the function of a tail and helps the robot balance.

Though the raptor is still in its early stages of development and has to be tethered to a power and control source while running on a flat treadmill, researchers have stated that they are well on their way to building a free roaming model.

Though we often take our balance for granted it is a difficult ability to master, particularly when you add speed to the equation. In fact, balance alone took millions of years of evolution to perfect. Yet in just a few short decades roboticists around the world are well on their way to matching the performance of biological mechanics, producing robots that can run, jump and walk over harrowing terrain.

In the coming decades these small steps toward competent locomotion will likely be the difference between a world full of robots or a world void of robots. Hopefully researchers continue to innovate and produce mechanical helpers of all shapes and sizes, so that one day all of us can lead safer and easier lives.

 

Image and Video Courtesy of KAIST

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