'Blind' Cheetah Robot Avoids Obstacles, Recovers When Pushed


MIT’s Cheetah 3 robot can now gallop across rough terrain, climb a staircase littered with debris, and quickly recover its balance when suddenly pushed or pulled, all while essentially blind. The robot does not use cameras or external environmental sensors. Instead, it uses two new algorithms: a contact detection algorithm, and a model-predictive control algorithm. Cheetah 3 could be used for exploring disaster zones and other dangerous or inaccessible environments.