Scientists at MIT developed a cheetah you won’t find in the wild. This robotic feline could one day reach places that are too dangerous for humans to enter.
The university is hosting some of the brightest minds in technology on Monday for the first-ever tech crunch conference. The very latest robotic technology and artificial intelligence will be on display, including a 90-pound, four-legged robot — Cheetah 3.
Powered by a complex algorithm made of aluminum, she’s one-of-a-kind in the robot world. Using less energy than a microwave, Cheetah 3 is able to run smoothly with joints that can generate about as much power as a sports car. The hope is, one day, Cheetah 3 may become the first-ever robotic responder.
CBS News correspondent Dana Jacobson got a first look at the technology behind the robot.
MIT Professor Sangbae Kim and his team have been working on the cheetah for about seven years.
“When we first stated, you know, it’s pure ambition to build something like a cheetah that can run and turn fast,” Kim said. “A lot of people told me, like, ‘You’re trying to do something science fiction.'”
Guided by the animal world, Kim set out to solve one of robotic’s biggest challenges — mobility.
“Everybody looked at the cheetah and said, ‘Wow, look at that spine. Look at the backbone. It’s bending and exploding. That’s probably why they’re fast,'” Kim said.
The machine cheetah reaches speeds of 30 miles per hour. Cheetah 3 has twice as much torque, or rotational force, than earlier models. And it’s 12 joints give it four times more flexibility or range of motion.
“Robots cannot actually have as many muscles and joints like animals,” Kim said. “Because increasing number of motors are too expensive. You need to actually increase the range of motion of each…