The future where robots will be able to handle hazardous tasks like rescuing people from a building on fire or even deliver your groceries on a lazy Sunday is closer than we dare to imagine. Recently, a team of robotics researchers from the Oregon University unveiled the next generation of bipedal robots, automatons which are capable of walking just like a human being.
Introducing Cassie, the next generation of bipedal robots which could, one day deliver the groceries to your front door. Cassie is the brainchild of the Oregon University team of researcher involved in the ATRIAS project.
Although Cassie might not look so stunning like Atlas or half as frightening as Handle, the robot with wheels on its feet, the robot will be able to handle any kind of task which involves running, walking, climbing, and even squatting.
The masterminds behind Cassie said that the principles they’ve applied when constructing the robot would, no doubt, be useful for designing robots which can mimic human movement.
Jonathan Hurst, the project’s chief of technology, declared that Cassie might look like much, but building it was indeed a great challenge. Although Cassie’s design was inspired by animal movement ant that the team gave it flexible, human-like ankles, the robot chicken is still having trouble sitting on its feet.
Hurst explained that walking and running might seem like a trifle for most of us, but replicating these movements using cogs and motors is a very difficult task. However, he believes that Cassie is a huge step forward in the right direction.
During the field tests, Cassie, the next generation of bipedal robots, was shoved, pushed, and kicked, all in the name of science. However, it would seem that Cassie managed to pass all tests with flying color, meaning that its design can be used to craft improved bipedal robots.
Cassie may seem like an over-glorified children’s toy, but its construction and design more than a year, and not to mention approximately $1 million. The ATRIAS project was entirely funded by DARPA.
So, what does the future look like from Cassie’s perspective? Hurst envisions a future where bipedal robots like Cassie or Atlas will be able to perform menial and even dangerous tasks. Because of its design, Cassie will be perfect for light recon missions or for search and rescue operations.
For now, Hurst and his team are trying to improve Cassie’s design.
Image source: Agility Robotics