Tag Archives: darpa

Cheetah: The Bounding Robot that now Jumps over Obstacles! Hardware | Tech News 31 MAY 2015

Building robots that mimic animal behaviour is pretty common these days it would seem, and in 2014 the team making up the MIT Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory group (Massachusetts Institute of Technology in case you’re not familiar with the famous MIT abbreviation) unveiled their entry in the form of the Cheetah, a robot set apart by its bounding movement action.

Needless to say, the robot was glorious to see in action:

Fast forward a year, and the team has announced improved algorithms that now allows their Cheetah robot to hurdle over obstacles as it runs – making it the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously.

To get a running jump, the robot plans out its path going through the following sequence: As it detects an approaching obstacle (using LIDAR), it estimates that object’s height and distance. The robot then gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the obstacle, before exerting enough force to push up and over. Based on the obstacle’s height, the robot then applies a certain amount of force to land safely, before resuming its initial pace.

In experiments on a treadmill and an indoor track, the cheetah robot successfully cleared obstacles up to 18 inches tall – more than half of the robot’s own height – while maintaining an average running speed of 5 miles per hour.

To see this in action is pretty amazing:

An incredible feat and yet another big step closer to that terrifying fear of being chased down by a killer robot becoming a reality!

mit cheetah robot jumping over hurdle

Related Link: MIT | Bounding Cheetah | Hurdling Cheetah

The Robots of Boston Dynamics Hardware | Military 08 OCT 2013

If the Terminator timeline Skynet evolves from anything already here, then chances are pretty damn good that it is simply a rename of current robotics company Boston Dynamics. Famed for their animal-like robotics funded by DARPA and intended for use by the American military, the things that Boston Dynamics creates is enough to put the fear of robots in any sane human being!

The latest release is the WildCat, the sequel to 2012’s fast running Cheetah robot, and seeing it in action is pretty terrifying – at the moment it’s only travelling at about 25 km/h, though if you remember correctly, it’s daddy set the world robotic speed record by running at nearly double that!

It gallops, it bounds and despite the Americans telling you that it would be great for “emergency response, firefighting, advanced agriculture and vehicular travel”, just imagine this thing kitted out with some scythe blades or a laser or two, busy chasing you down!

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Review: Vanquish (2010) Games | My Reviews 26 APR 2012

If you are looking for a game packed with non-stop adrenaline from all the running about, explosions and bullets whizzing past your head, then you definitely, definitely need to give 2010’s Vanquish a shot!

Directed by the legendary Shinji Mikami, developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega, Vanquish places you as Sam Gideon, a DARPA researcher equipped with the cutting-edge Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS), who has been sent to join the Space Marines mission in recapturing an US space station which has been overrun by a Russian splinter group – and whose solar energy drive has already been used to fire on and decimate San Francisco!

A third person shooter, Vanquish hits the ground running and you literally don’t get any breathing space as the game hurtles from stage to stage, throwing all manner of both human and mechanical opponents at you, as you and your squad mates (well they are with you for most of the first half of the game anyway) move to dispatch everything in your sights, using a combination of classic and rather futuristic weapon systems.

The big innovation of Vanquish comes from its sliding ability, which allows you basically to power slide all around the stage (until your suit overheats and you have to rest to recover), meaning that tactically you can literally slide into a firefight, get some hits and then dive for cover, or alternatively get the hell out of there if a particular corner gets to hot. In addition to this, you have the ability to heighten your reflexes, essentially slowing down time and allowing you to do a whole lot of explosive battering before your suit overheats again.

To match this frenetic pace of the gameplay, Platinum Games have come up with a stunningly beautiful, detailed and stark game world, as well as some superbly smooth character animations to back up their already fantastic character designs. Complimenting all of this is a massive selection of finely crafted CG segments, which does a lot to show off Sam and his suit in action, though at times the action is taken just that little bit too over the top, almost a little Devil May Cry if you know what I mean.

Aurally both the soundtrack and vocal cast are simply put, polished, with each suiting their respective roles beautifully.

In summary, this is one third person shooter which you would be a fool to pass up on, especially if you enjoy your action shooter games. The pace is frenetic, the explosions huge, the story fantastically engaging and to be frank, just a thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable game experience.

Well worth picking up if it crosses your path then!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanquish_%28video_game%29