Virtually Indestructible Mini Cheetah Robots

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) put on a spectacular show with a pack of mini cheetah robots the campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Researchers behind the small quadrupedal robots shared a video online of these mechanical animals running, jumping and even kicking around a soccer ballSteered manually with a remote control, each one weighs about 20 pounds and can reach speeds of around six miles per hour. The mini cheetah was designed to be ‘virtually indestructible,’ recovering with little damage, even if a backflip ends in a spill, MIT News explained earlier this year. Sangbae Kim, director of MIT‘s biomimetics lab, noted that the robots area designed to absorb the impact of jumping and landing – and the video highlights this capability. The cheetahs are shown frolicking through an area of the college campus, while being controlled by a human. The machines perform a synchronized dance, where they show their gymnastic abilities and then they all join in a game of soccer.


Eventually, I’m hoping we could have a robotic dog race through an obstacle course, where each team controls a mini cheetah with different algorithms, and we can see which strategy is more effective,‘ Kim said. ‘That’s how you accelerate research.’

Each of its legs is powered by three identical, specially designed low-cost electric motors. It was created with a modular design, which means each of its motors and other components can be swapped out if they fail or sustain damage. Benjamin Katz, a technical associate at MIT‘s department of mechanical engineering and lead developer said, ‘If you wanted to add another arm, you could just add three or four more of these modular motors.’ ‘The rate at which it can change forces on the ground is really fast.’