Abandon All Hope - Robots Can Now Jump Over Walls

Abandon All Hope - Robots Can Now Jump Over Walls

MIT and DARPA's Cheetah Robot has been upgraded to autonomously jump over obstacles and walls.

You probably still thought you had a safe place to hide from the robot apocalypse, didn't you? Well thanks to recent upgrades to MIT's Cheetah robot, you'll have to rewrite your survival plans from scratch. After breaking all kinds of speed records last year, MIT has provided the Cheetah with new algorithms to jump over obstacles 40 centimeters tall - making it the first robot capable of jumping over walls.

What's that? 40 centimeters doesn't sound like much? You may laugh, but if the next algorithm lets it get over chest-high walls, all our video game reponse training is for nothing. It's pretty much game over for humanity.

The actual jumping process itself is surprisingly complex. Much like human runners, the Cheetah watches for approaching obstacles, estimates its height and distance, and calculates the best position from which to jump. Then it adjusts its stride, exerts enough force to push itself into the air, and applies force as it hits the ground to resume its run safely. During experiments on treadmills and indoor tracks, the Cheetah successfully cleared 45 centimeter tall obstacles while running 5 miles an hour. I'm sure MIT representatives would be terrified if they weren't incredibly excited about this historic achievement.

MIT Cheetah Jump

"A running jump is a truly dynamic behavior," assistant professor of mechanical engineering Sangbae Kim explained. "You have to manage balance and energy, and be able to handle impact after landing. Our robot is specifically designed for those highly dynamic behaviors."

What's really interesting is that MIT's algorithm doesn't provide optimal jumping controls, only feasible ones. That's because MIT doesn't want to be so energy efficient that the Cheetah barely clears obstacles - those calculations take longer and could be dangerous for the robot. Instead, the algorithm calculates a jump that will work, even if higher than necessary, and uses those calculations. "We're too obsessed with optimal solutions," Kim continued. "This is one example where you just have to be good enough, because you're running, and have to make a decision very quickly."

MIT will demonstrate the Cheetah's jumping abilities at DARPA's Robotics Challenge this June, and present a paper about its systems for July's "Robotics: Science and Systems" Conference. I'd recommend hiding in underground bunkers for the summer while praying they don't notice us - it's our last best hope.

Source: MIT, via The Verge

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Excellent. Soon, very soon, long-distance mobility will be a mere inconvenience to overweight Dwemer. That's a considerable step up from a bane.

I see you've already made the chest-high wall joke.

I got nothing.

Prepare to be hunted.
It can't be just me that thinks the most obvious use for these things is to give them gun turrets, sensors and wifi so they can hunt people down and eliminate them. Give seven of these things a hive mind and a human in the loop and just let em go, leaping through windows and shooting down doors, communicating wirelessly with each other and drones overhead instantly.

Give them net launchers and use them for Police work.

Harping on about the robot apocalypse is the "freebird" of technology, trite and utterly played out.

so, remember that scientist dude who a couple years ago proposed we draft a series of rights for robots?
I think he's on to something

Now, I can't wait until they're about average horse-size so that I can ride them over tall fences...

freaper:
Harping on about the robot apocalypse is the "freebird" of technology, trite and utterly played out.

Honestly I think there's some sort of Byzantine law enshrined at the Escapist offices at this point, stating;
"Where there are robots, there are apocalypse references"

Reminds me of the Mechanical Hound in Fahrenheit 451.

I bet the lead scientist has one on his front lawn as a pet. That'll be an interesting story for the postman to tell his grandkids, assume it doesn't jump for death cuddles.
Oh well, pretty interesting, nonetheless. I would put a tail and pair of very cute, fluffy ears on them though. They look terrible for now. Just....terrible.

Johnny Novgorod:
Reminds me of the Mechanical Hound in Fahrenheit 451.

Or Neuromancer's cyborg puppies for that matter.

Looks cool though. But they've been working on this thing for so long now I wonder when we'll start seeing the tech in these things in actual applications.

Also, good god do all those researchers respond boring to their awesome robo-pall in that video. I'd be all up in that shit if I were them.

But can they get as drunk as I can?

But can they jump on top of an SUV & stare into it?

Johnny Novgorod:
Reminds me of the Mechanical Hound in Fahrenheit 451.

Ninja'd! That's exactly what I though. All it needs is the phosphorescent eyes and hypodermic needle.

Sun shines, grass green, wind blows, escapist writers still terrified of robots.

World spins on.

I love that they've built this amazing piece of machinery yet it's all being recorded in a school gym by a guy with his cellphone being pushed around in a basket like some sort of cheap high-school science project film.

I would of called the thing, the 'Sheep' ... it looks like one (sans fleece) and moves like one, and while watching the repeating gif animation I nearly fell asleep so it has that sleep inducing effect as well.
It by no means resembles the grace and speed of a cheetah at full sprint.

Now when we have something like that cat like bot in the movie, Red Planet, AMEE... then we can call it 'Cheetah' :)

Let's work on an advanced robot that can run as fast as a Cheetah, mimics it's running stride and is capable of jumping over obstacles of various sizes, wow that sounds fantastically complicated, how do you suppose we would film this wonderful robot in action, I dunno just push a guy holding a smart phone in a shopping cart alongside it.

Stupidity:
Prepare to be hunted.
It can't be just me that thinks the most obvious use for these things is to give them gun turrets, sensors and wifi so they can hunt people down and eliminate them. Give seven of these things a hive mind and a human in the loop and just let em go, leaping through windows and shooting down doors, communicating wirelessly with each other and drones overhead instantly.

Give them net launchers and use them for Police work.

Lol, well to be honest if we do see this kind of thing I don't think it will be a walking robot simply because it would be more efficient to simply continue to develop flight systems and let them fly close to the ground and/or hover if needed. Basically I'd imagine combat robots will simply be increasingly more advanced and more autonomous drones, legs with all of the working parts are needlessly complicated, and I don't think they would actually wind up saving on power either.

That said I was reading an article this morning about how ISIS was going after men who didn't have properly Islamic beards, and those who were unable to grow them fast enough were told to not walk around in public. It vaguely made me think that it might be interesting to say program autonomous sniper drones and send them out to shoot anything with a beard of X dimensions. :)

Yes, that's just wrong on so many levels, but it was an interesting thought experiment.

That said I am pretty sad that I am not likely to see any kind of true AI based robotics in my lifetime. All paranoia and war-time discussion aside, I honestly do not think humans and robots would have that much trouble co-existing in the long run.

Laughing Man:
Let's work on an advanced robot that can run as fast as a Cheetah, mimics it's running stride and is capable of jumping over obstacles of various sizes, wow that sounds fantastically complicated, how do you suppose we would film this wonderful robot in action, I dunno just push a guy holding a smart phone in a shopping cart alongside it.

If its stupid and it works, its not stupid. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones.

I might be in the minority on this, but there's just something about it that I find charmingly cute. Maybe it's the small feet, or the diligence on display.

 

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