【能开门爬栅栏的“小狗机器人”】

【能开门爬栅栏的“小狗机器人”】宾夕法尼亚大学的机器人科学家近日开发了一款四足爬行的机器人,其长度约40厘米,外形酷似小狗,可攀爬铁网栅栏、上下楼梯,并具备弹跳以及恢复平衡的能力,这一能力也使得其可以双足弹跳,拉开门把手。不过,这款机器人的最快奔跑速度仅4.5mph(约合7.2公里每小时)。

Adorable robot bounds like an excited puppy: Ghost Minitaur can run, jump, open doors and even climb fences

By RICHARD GRAY
Bounding around like an excitable puppy, this amazing four legged robot can open doors and even climb over fences by itself.
The Ghost Minitaur can be programmed with a series of different gaits from bounding, trotting, and walking to something called pronking – the kind of four-legged spring seen in gazelles.
The miniature robot, which measures just 1.3 feet long (40cm) – about the same as a small dog – has a top speed when running of just 4.5 mph.
But unlike other robots, when it encounters an obstacle like a flight of stairs, a closed door or a fence, it is able to over come them.
A video released by Philadelphia-based Ghost Robotics, who created the Minitaur, shows it leaping up to pull down on a door handle before excitedly pushing the door open.
In another feat of agility it jumps onto a fence before slowly clambering up the metal links.
The developers claim it is also able to cope with uneven surfaces due to sensors that help it detect surface it is on and compensate.
Four flexible but triangle shaped legs allow it to even perform flips and tackle difficult surfaces like gravel.
Ghost Robotics claims: 'Its high-torque brushless outrunner motors and specialised leg design let this machine run and jump over difficult terrain.
'High-speed and high resolution encoders let the machine see the ground through the motors and adapt faster than the blink of an eye.
'The legs can also be used to manipulate the surroundings in a variety of ways, from pushing obstacles to opening doors.'
The robot was initially designed by robotics scientists at the University of Pennsylvania to mimic animals that are able to run and jump over rough terrain.
While other companies such as Boston Dynamics have been developing robots capable of coping with difficult terrain, the team felt their robot can benefit by being far lighter.
It weighs just 11lbs (5kg) compared to Boston Dynamics' impressive Big Dog, which weighs more than 240lbs (109kg).
Avik De, one of the researchers at the University of Pennyslvania who developed Minitaur, told IEEE Spectrum that the robot was aimed at replicating the movement in running animals.
He said: 'The bounding gait is typically what animals use when they're trying to travel at faster speeds because it enables the two hind legs to push together.
'If we were to approach rough terrain, which is something we plan to do in the future, we'd probably prefer to do something that doesn't rely on reliable ground traction as much, something like a crawl.
Gavin Kenneally, another member of the team, said they have been selling the robots for around £7,700 ($10,000) each but they hope to reduce the cost to £1,150 ($1,500) eventually.
He explained to IEEE Spectrum how they have enabled it to open the door.
He said: 'It jumps up on its front two legs, doing a handstand, and then jumps.
'The back left leg is waiting to feel the door handle, so it kind of sticks that leg out and waits until it senses contact.
'Once it perceives contact with the door knob, it retracts the leg, moves it over a little bit, and then extends it, and that actually all happens within 50 milliseconds, so it's incredibly fast.'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3798667/Adorable-robot-bounds-like-excited-puppy-Ghost-Minitaur-run-jump-open-doors-climb-fences.html

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