Legged Robots are Far Superior to Wheels and Tracks When Venturing Outdoors

Legged Robots are Far Superior to Wheels and Tracks When Venturing Outdoors

Mar 6, 2017 @ 20:00 | 

The Legged robots are far superior to wheeled and tracked autonomous vehicles in real-world field applications but at cost of motion controlling complexity.

Ghost Robotics, a leader in fast and lightweight direct-drive (gearless) legged robots, announced that its patent-pending Ghost Minitaur™ has been updated with advanced reactive behaviors for navigating grass, rock, sand, snow and ice fields, urban objects and debris, and vertical terrain.

The latest gaits adapt reactively to unstructured and dynamic environments to maintain balance, ascend steep inclines (up to 35º), handle curb-sized steps in stride (up to 15cm), crouch to fit under crawl spaces (as low as 27cm), and operate at variable speeds and turning rates. Minitaur’s high-force capabilities enable it to leap onto ledges (up to 40cm) and across gaps (up to 80cm). Its high control bandwidth allows it to actively balance on two legs, and high speed operation allows its legs to manipulate the world faster than the blink of an eye, while deftly reacting to unexpected contact.

“Our primary focus since releasing the Minitaur late last year has been expanding its behaviors to traverse a wide range of terrains and real-world operating scenarios,” said Gavin Kenneally, and Avik De, Co-founders of Ghost Robotics. “In a short time, we have shown that legged robots not only have superior baseline mobility over wheels and tracks in a variety of environments and terrains, but also exhibit a diverse set of behaviors that allow them to easily overcome natural obstacles. We are excited to push the envelope with future capabilities, improved hardware, as well as integrated sensing and autonomy.”

Ghost Robotics is designing next-generation legged robots that are superior to wheeled and tracked autonomous vehicles in real-world field applications, while substantially reducing costs to drive adoption and scalable deployments. Its direct-drive technology creates the lowest cost model with durability for commercializing very small to medium size legged UGV sensor platforms over any competitive design. The company’s underlying research and intellectual property have additional applications in ultra-precise manipulators that are human-safe, and advanced gait research.

While a commercial version of the Ghost Minitaur™ robot is slated for delivery in the future, the current development platform is in high demand and has been shipped to many top robotics researchers worldwide because of its design simplicity, low cost and flexible software development environment for a broad range of research and commercialization initiatives.

“We are pleased with our R&D progress towards commercializing the Ghost Minitaur™ to prove legged robots can surpass the performance of wheel and track UGVs, while keeping the cost model low to support volume adoption, which is certainly not the case with existing bipedal and quadrupedal robot vendors,” said Jiren Parikh, Ghost Robotics, CEO.

In the coming quarters, the company plans to demonstrate further improvements in mobility, built-in manipulation capabilities to interact with objects in the world, integration with more sensors, built-in autonomy for operation with reduced human intervention, as well as increased mechanical robustness and durability for operation in harsh environments.

About Ghost Robotics

Robots that Feel the World™. Ghost Robotics develops patent-pending, ultrafast and highly responsive direct-drive (no gearbox) legged robots for instantaneous and precise force feedback applications, offering superior operability over wheeled and tracked robots. The lightweight and low-cost Ghost Minitaur™ robot platform can be used as an autonomous vehicle fitted with sensors for ISR, search and rescue, asset management and inspection, exploration, scientific and military applications where unknown, rough, varied, hazardous, environmentally sensitive and even vertical terrain is present.

  • Source: Ghost Robotics (Press Release)
  • Image: Ghost Robotics


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