Nov 17, 2011
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Comments Off on Ostrich inspired robot faster than the worlds fastest sprint runner!

Ostrich inspired robot faster than the worlds fastest sprint runner!

Fast Runner

Worlds fastest two-legged robot inspired by nature

From jumping spider-bots, to self flying SLS herring gulls, the animal kingdom provides inspiration for a number of robotic creations, so little wonder scientists have decided to draw inspiration from  one of the fastest creatures on two feet, the ostrich. This robotic project “Fast Runner” is a collaborative project between DARPA (the Defence Advanced Research Projects Authority), MIT and the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IMHC) aimed at creating a fast, light weight bi-pedal search robot that can transverse difficult landscapes.

The decision to base the Fast Runner design on an ostrich lies in the minimal use of energy required for ostriches to maintain a steady speed of 31mph. According to Johnny Godowski (the idea originator behind Fast Runner) “the architecture takes zero energy to carry weight..The legs lock and unlock a lot like a folding table, to support what we imagine will be quite a lot of mass when the prototype is finished… really as much as the legs will hold”

Only one year into the four year research project, stunning results have been demonstrated with 40% of the mechanical design complete, and one full-scale leg machined using Rapid Prototyping techniques. Designs for the rest of the robot’s body have also been prepared, with the final robot projected to weigh only 80 pounds and stand just over four and a half feet tall.

Researchers estimate that the “Fast Runner” will achieve speeds of up to 27 mph, faster than Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man! While these speeds have yet to be confirmed in final testing simulation has shown that the robot can go from a standing position to 20mph in as little as 15 seconds, along with demonstrating an ability to transverse gentle slopes.

The appeal of this project for the DARPA lies in the military applications of Fast Runner as a ground based-drone capable of scouting ahead over rough terrain with no risk to military personnel along with the potential to support troops in war zones through the rapid delivery of supplies.

See the mechanics behind the movement:

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