Salto is a single-legged, hopping robot that its UC Berkeley inventors compare to a "hyper-aggressive pogo-stick." Previously, Salto was constrained to a highly-structured indoor environment with a motion caption system. Now though, roboticists Justin Yim and Eric Wang have imbued Salto with the onboard smarts to bounce freely through the world albeit still under human control. From UC Berkeley:
Salto’s single, powerful leg is modeled after those of the galago, or Senegalese bush baby. The small, tree-dwelling primate’s muscles and tendons store energy in a way that gives the spry creature the ability to string together multiple jumps in a matter of seconds. By linking a series of quick jumps, Salto also can navigate complex terrain — like a pile of debris — that might be impossible to cross without jumping or flying.
“Unlike a grasshopper or cricket that winds up and gives one jump, we’re looking at a mechanism where it can jump, jump, jump, jump,” (UC Berkeley robotics professor Ronald) Fearing said. “This allows our robot to jump from location to location, which then gives it the ability to temporarily land on surfaces that we might not be able to perch on.”
From IEEE Spectrum:
...The researchers expect that “higher precision estimation and control can enable jumping on more finely varied surfaces like stairs, furniture, or other outcroppings” as well as “soft substrates like upholstery or natural foliage.”
The researchers tell us that Salto’s hardware is capable enough at this point that aside from potentially upgrading the motor or battery for more jumping power or run time, the focus now will be on new behaviors, although they’re toying with the idea of adding some kind of gripping foot so that Salto can launch from, and land on, tree branches (!).
Inspired by the way plants grow, MIT researchers designed a flexible robot appendage that can work in tight spaces but is rigid enough to support heavy parts or twist tight screws. From MIT News: The appendage design is inspired by the way plants grow, which involves the transport of nutrients, in a fluidized form, up […]
Greg Olijnyk works as a 2D graphic designer, but his hobby is creating unbelievably wonderful 3D science fictional cardboard sculptures that sport motors and lights that animate them (some use photovoltaic cells for power, too).
Corridor produced this excellent parody of Boston Dynamics’ robots and the style of its promotional videos. It could be the trailer for a new Neill Blomkamp or Paul Verhoeven movie, but where the satire is immediately transformed into stress because there’s very little about it that seems unlikely or even beyond the fairly immediate future. […]
WordPress is a fantastic tool for building web pages – if you know how to use it. Even with all the accessibility, a lot of the deeper features of WordPress are lost in translation to the average user. Enter WP Page Builder, a tool that not only makes WordPress site design easy but also more […]
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In this Instagram age, pictures aren’t just worth a thousand words; they can be worth a pretty penny, too, which makes graphic designers a highly sought-after profession. But being a graphic artist takes more than just the ability to draw a picture, and certainly more than the ability to navigate through Photoshop. The School of […]