The wheel is a revolutionary invention — as they say — but going back to basics sometimes opens new pathways. Robots that traverse terrain on legs are on the rise, most notably the Boston Dynamics Big Dog series of robots — and [Ghost Robotics]’ Minitaur quadruped aims to keep pace.
One of [Ghost Robotics] founders, [Gavin Knneally] states that co-ordination is one of the main problems to overcome when developing quadruped robots; being designed to clamber across especially harsh terrain, Minitaur’s staccato steps carry it up steep hills, stairs, across ice, and more. Its legs also allow it to adjust its height — the video shows it trot up to a car, hunker down, then begin to waddle underneath with ease.
[Ghost Robotics] aim to build ‘bots in the micro-medium robot range, as small as eight inches. The robots are planned as sensor platforms with the military as a primary market, and search and rescue shortly thereafter. A robot that can climb stairs and jump-kicking open office doors would be useful indeed.
[Via Popular Science]