Backflipping 'Mini Cheetah' robot breaks speed record

The Mini Cheetah robot developed by MIT can now run faster than ever on any terrain thanks to a new artificial intelligence model.

Published Jul 31, 2022 6:38 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Aug 22 2022 7:44 PM CDT
1 minute & 7 seconds read time

The Mini Cheetah robot was made at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has previously been seen backflipping.

The robot learned to run faster than ever before after the researchers from MIT's Improbable AI Lab replaced its running controller with a "learn-by-experience model." The previous running controller was "analytically designed" and was a system designed by human engineers to manage the robot's balance and general locomotion. However, this process is tedious and requires too much manual labor to account for every potential terrain or situation the robot can encounter.

Simulations allow the robot to "accumulate 100 days' worth of experience on diverse terrains" in only three hours, equipping it with skills to handle those situations that it can pull from when it encounters a similar scenario in real life. This approach allowed the Mini Cheetah to learn how it could run at record speeds without requiring a human to design the capability manually. The team at MIT is expanding this approach to other robotic systems, like hands that can pick up and handle various objects, to teach them diverse skills without as much manual work.

You can read more about how the Mini Cheetah's speed was developed in this MIT news post.

Backflipping 'Mini Cheetah' robot breaks speed record 01
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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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