MIT is back with their latest version of the Mini Cheetah robot, and this version can do backflips like a pro.
Backflipping robots is not really new to the scene, Boston Dynamic's Atlas robot pulled off a backflip in 2017, but the Mini Cheetah is the first four-legged robot that can do it, which is kind of more impressive. After all, a lot of humans can do backflips, but how many dogs can technically land a backflip?
The Mini Cheetah is a smaller version of the larger Cheetah 3 from 2018, it weighs around 9kg and can trot along at up to 2.45 meters per second. Unlike the SpotMini from Boston Dynamics, which is intended to be an actual, real product, the Mini Cheetah is just a research project, so it won't be open to the public to buy one.
Each leg is powered by three motors, to give it three degrees of freedom and a huge range of motion. The lightweight, high-torque design enables the Mini Cheetah to execute fast, dynamic manoeuvres and make high-force impacts on the ground without breaking gearboxes or any of its limbs.
The MIT research team is building about 10 more Mini Cheetahs, each of which they plan to loan out to collaborating groups. In the meantime, you can see the backflipping-robot in action, in the video below.