OSU Bipedal Robot successfully runs 5 kilometres in outdoors test

The past few years has seen the field of robotics improve exponentially. Just last year, Boston Dynamics’ quadruped robot dog spot became commercially available. However, for those more interested in Bipedal Robot developments, there's some intriguing news.

OSU's Bipedal Robot can run pretty well

Created by OSU (Oregon State University), this latest Bipedal Robot has successfully completed its first test run. Nicknamed Cassie, the robot walker was put to the test with a 5 kilometre run on outdoor terrain.

Described as “the first Bipedal Robot to use machine learning to control a running gait" this is an impressive achievement. Since 2017, the robot has been constantly worked on to improve its running capabilities.

Displayed in a new 108-second video, Cassie successfully finished its first 5 kilometre run within 53 minutes. The human target for a good pace 5 kilometre run is approximately 28-37 minutes. However, a year-and-a-half of depressing lockdown may have made that speed a lofty goal for some of us. (Me.)

Cassie's run was completed in a fully untethered state, running off a single battery charge.

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What's the point?

The goal of Cassie is two-fold. Firstly, OSU and Agility Robotics hopes that the tech will be used for future package delivery. Secondly, the tech is planned to be used to help disadvantaged people complete everyday tasks.

The running robot hasn't proven to be much use outside of a light jog, but it's fantastic progress. At the moment, bipedal hard robotics aren't as popular as machines like Boston Dynamics' spot. As bipedal machines are harder to keep upright, their usefulness hasn’t been fully tapped into. However, Cassie proves that there's hope in humanoid machines.

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