Watch MIT’s Backflipping Robo-Cheetahs Dance — for Science (Probably)

by Gordon Gottsegen
November 11, 2019


Robots are built for all sorts of stressful jobs, like flipping burgersteaching children and disposing bombs. So when they’re not hard at work, we assume they like to let off some steam, just like the rest of us.

Researchers at the MIT Biomimetics Robotics Lab recently released a video of its Mini Cheetah — a lightweight and mobile quadrupedal robot. In that video, we see the Mini Cheetahs marching, dancing and flipping in unison. The researchers even make the robots play with a soccer ball.

Although this display is probably important for some advanced scientific reason, you can clearly hear laughter break out throughout the video.

The MIT lab first unveiled the Mini Cheetah back in March, saying that it was the first four-legged robot able to do a backflip. The robot was designed with mobility in mind: It can traverse different kinds of terrain, walk right-side up or upside-down and can move twice as fast as the average person’s walking speed.

MIT built the Mini Cheetahs and loaned them out to other labs to help engineers study how robots could move. If they were available to the public, they’d probably be jumping off the shelves.

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