The MIT humanoid robot: A dynamic robotic that can perform acrobatic behaviors

The MIT humanoid robot: A dynamic robotic that can perform acrobatic behaviors

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of Massachusetts Amherst recently designed a new humanoid robot supported by an actuator-aware kino-dynamic motion planner and a landing controller. This design, presented in a paper pre-published on arXiv, could allow the humanoid robot to perform back flips and other acrobatic movements. In this work, we tried to come up with realistic control algorithm to make a real humanoid robot perform acrobatic behavior such as back/front/side-flip, spinning jump, and jump over an obstacle. To perform highly dynamic behaviors, robots typically need to make efficient use of actuators. Most existing robot designs, however, do not fully address hardware-related challenges and aspects, such as the drop in voltage that can occur during high torque/velocity motions.

The most notable difference between the new humanoid robot we developed and other humanoid robots developed in the past would be the actuators, Actuator technologies have been dramatically improved, and we have demonstrated the outstanding performance in the quadruped robots, MIT Cheetah 1, 2, 3 and mini-cheetah robots. The same actuator technology, represented by highly back-drivable, rapid and accurate torque control, and compact and robust form factor, will be used in the new humanoid robot.

In the future, the MIT humanoid robot could prove to be highly efficient for completing a wide range of complex missions. Meanwhile, the researchers plan to test their design, motion planner and control algorithm in real world scenarios.

The MIT humanoid robot: design, motion planning, and control for acrobatic behaviors. arXiv:2104.09025 [cs.RO]. arxiv.org/abs/2104.09025

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