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Bipedal Robot Of Michigan University Is The Fastest Robot Sprinter!

Question asked by Farjand in #Robotics on Aug 17, 2011
Farjand · Aug 17, 2011
Rank C2 - EXPERT
Presently, it is hard to see a robot to run faster than Human beings. However, doctoral students from University of Michigan have successfully constructed a robot which can run almost like a human albeit comparatively low speed. The machine which can run at a higher speed is touted to be the fastest ever robot constructed ever.

The Bipedal Robot Named MABEL which is a hard work of students of three years who continuously altered the algorithm which to provide him balance can run at a speed of 6.8MPH. The robot has striking similarities with the famous one called ASIMO which is the first robot to look like Human which was made by Japanese company Honda. The MABEL which mimics human activity of running also copies human gait in precise details. MABEL is not today's achievement. Its actual work began in 2008 in collaboration with Jonathan Hurst, Hae Won Park and Koushil Sreenath. Hurst was a doctoral student when the work for designing it started.

MABEL robot of University Of Michigan is the fastest running robot ever. Image Credit: University Of Michigan

One of the minute facts which can be spotted is that it remains in air for 40% of its running time which is much similar to that of humans. Until now the world's fastest robot was the one built by Japanese company Hitachi which could move with a speed of 3.7 MPH. However all the attempts in this field cannot surpass the average running speed of humans which stand at around 15 MPH. The crux lies in up to what degree can the movements by machines can be copied by these mechanical and electronic exoskeletons. University of Michigan students have succeeded in this attempt achieving a high degree of accuracy and considering the fact that the robot can still manage to balance itself even after being engaged in a high speed motion in terms of machines.

Moreover the designers have tried hard to distribute its weight like that of a person. The proper distribution of weight of its heavy torso on its agile and swift legs is one of the keys to balance apart from the balancing algorithm which the students have devised. While the flight step lasts for 10% of the total running cycle time. The robot MABEL can be used on an even surface or an uneven surface; the machine works smoothly. While it is a matter of investigation if vehicles can be made in such a way so that wheels can be removed entirely from the transport industry, if robotic community finds an answer then we will not need roads for transportation as the driver of MABEL inspired vehicle will be enjoy a smooth ride irrespective of rough road condition. The robot was funded by National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Such robots may also find wide applications in the field of Humanitarian services or where humans cannot reach. Robotic soldiers can help human soldiers in tough military operations which will be a step forward to save soldier's precious life. The robot might work something similar to drone but on ground. If the research in this regards continue then we can someday have humans carried by animals like horses on road but this time we will have manmade animals!

Check out the video below to see MABEL run-
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