Thanks to its legs, whose design faithfully reproduces feline morphology, EPFL’s four-legged “cheetah-cub robot” has the same advantages as its model: It is small, light and fast. Still in its experimental stage, the robot will serve as a platform for research in locomotion and biomechanics.
The robot is the fastest in its category, namely in normalized speed for small quadruped robots under 30 kg. During tests, it demonstrated its ability to run nearly seven times its body length in one second. Although not as agile as a real cat, it still has excellent auto-stabilization characteristics when running at full speed or over a course that included disturbances such as small steps. In addition, the robot is extremely light, compact, and robust and can be easily assembled from materials that are inexpensive and readily available.
Robots developed from this concept could eventually be used in search-and-rescue missions or for exploration.