Each type of robot has its strengths and weaknesses.parties. For example, the two-legged mechanisms do an excellent job with walking up stairs, but at the same time they cannot accelerate much. Wheeled robots, in turn, are able to move only on relatively flat surfaces, but sometimes boast a very high speed. In an effort to develop the perfect robot, engineers create hybrid gears with wheel-mounted legs, but why not just train human-like robots to ride roller skates and hoverboards?
This question was asked by researchers fromUniversity of Michigan, and taught the robot Cassie from Agility Robotics to keep balance and move to the so-called "hovershoes". The used vehicle is more difficult than a regular hoverboard, because it is divided in two and is inherently like roller skates. For forward and backward movement, as well as turning, it is necessary to bend in different directions.
Robot Cassie learned to ride roller skates
This is quite a challenge even for a person, butThanks to its rich array of sensors, Cassie copes with balancing and movement. It works autonomously, without the help of people — the vSLAM environment mapping algorithm that runs in the embedded computer in real time helps him in this.
Fellow at the University of California at BerkeleyBike Zhang shared that it took them eight months to develop a controller, a motion path planner and an artificial vision system. According to him, a person needs only a few hours to learn how to balance this type of hoverboard, but if he has never got up on skates before, he will need much more time.
Robot Cassie copes with drivingeven surfaces with small climbs - this was proven during traveling on the territory of the university. However, it may fall when descending stairs or colliding with a large obstacle, but engineers are already working to improve the system. In particular, they want to teach the robot to detect and go around obstacles at high speed and, of course, independently get up on wheeled platforms.
It is expected that gaining the skill of riding on hoverboardsand other wheeled vehicles, Cassie robots will be able to deliver packages faster. They are already doing this, though only walking on two legs - recently Ford announced that they would carry the parcels from the truck directly to the doorstep of customers.
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