Robotics

Another giant leap for robotkind

MIT's Cheetah robot can now jump over obstacles on their path to destroying us all

MIT Cheetah robot
Credit: MIT

Next week, I'm on assignment with Computerworld where I'll get to see the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals. More than 20 teams are taking their robots and putting them through a series of obstacle challenges in the hopes of finding out whether robots can assist rescuers in dangerous situations, such as earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters (the idea occurred to DARPA following the Japanese Fukushima nuclear accident).

Those robots, of course, are all designed to assist humanity, yet today we see this video of the folks from MIT trotting out (literally) its Cheetah robot, which can now jump over obstacles while running. Previous videos of Cheetah showed it running quite well, and now its algorithms can deal with small objects in its path.

Of course, we realize that this ability would never be used to hurt humans, but of course it's fun to always joke around about such a scenario (Hey, Terminator Genisys is coming out July 1!). A team from MIT will be at next week's DARPA finals, so maybe I'll get a chance to see if I can throw things at the Cheetah for it to avoid.

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