It gets knocked down, but it gets up again.
A team of Swiss researchers have trained a robot dog to be able to fight off repeated kicks from a human.
No matter how many times the robot, called the ‘ANYmal,’ gets kicked, it’s able to roll over onto its back and stand back up again.
WHAT ARE ANYMAL’S SPECS?
- Weighs 66lbs
- Can lift a payload of 22lbs
- Battery lasts between two to four hours on a single charge
- 360 degree mobility
- Can walk up to 1 mph
- Equipped with LIDAR or stereo cameras
- Made of carbon fiber and aluminum
- Sealed off from water and dust damage
The researchers’ findings were laid out in a new paper published Wednesday in Science Robotics.
Scientists from Switzerland’s ETH Zurich University trained the robot using artificial intelligence, which enables it to move and respond faster than ever before.
So fast, they say, that it was able to beat the previous speed record by 25 percent.
According to researchers, this is not an easy thing to do.
‘Legged robots pose one of the greatest challenges in robotics,’ the study notes.
‘Dynamic and agile maneuvers of animals cannot be imitated by existing methods that are crafted by humans.’
Typically, researchers rely on simulations, which are ‘cheap and safe,’ but cannot ‘accurately capture the dynamics of complex robots,’ they explained.
A team of researchers trained a robot dog to be able to fight off repeated kicks from a human. No matter how many times it gets kicked, it’s able to roll over onto its back and stand back up
Anymal the robot dog was developed by Robotic Systems Lab at ETH Zurich University in Switzerland and has been shown in several videos running, crawling and walking
Instead, scientists developed a neural network system from which the robot would be able to quickly learn and adapt.
‘Using policies trained in simulation, the quadrupedal machine achieves locomotion skills that go beyond what had been achieved with prior methods: ANYmal is capable of precisely and energy-efficiently following high-level body velocity commands, running faster than before, and recovering from falling even in complex configurations,’ the study continues.
It also uses a relatively new method called reinforcement learning, where the robot basically learns through trial and error, completing a series of tasks over and over until it gets it right.
A video posted by ETH Zurich shows one of the researchers kicking the robot several times, in some cases pretty forcefully.
Scientists from Switzerland’s ETH Zurich University trained the ANYmal robot using artificial intelligence, which enables it to move and respond faster than ever before
The robot is trained with AI that makes it so that it can respond ‘faster than ever before.’ Researchers also created a ‘roll-over motion’ where the robot is able to recover from a fall
At several points throughout the video, the robot’s limbs are so quick to adjust that it doesn’t even fall over.
If it does tip over, the scientists said they created a ‘roll-over motion’ where the robot dog is able to recover from a fall.
The scientists say this ‘roll-over’ method has never been observed in a similar four-legged robot like ANYmal until now.
With the ability to survive a fall, it means that four-legged robots could be even more useful to humans in the future.
‘Legged robots may one day rescue people in forests and mountains, climb stairs to carry payloads in construction sites, inspect unstructured underground tunnels, and explore other planets,’ the study notes.
‘Legged systems have the potential to perform any physical activity humans and animals are capable of.’
Researchers also use a method called reinforcement learning, where the robot basically learns through trial and error, completing a series of tasks over and over until it gets it right
Anymal’s limbs allow it to move at a pace that’s comparable to that of a human and it can carry a payload of up to 22lbs. Its creators believe it could be used in first response situations
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen ANYmal in action.
ANYbotics, the commercial version of ETH Zurich’s robotics unit, trotted the four-legged robot dog out on the show floor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.
There, as part of a partnership with tiremaker Continental, the companies demonstrated how ANYmal could soon be able to deliver packages to consumers’ doorsteps.
A robot dog was able to jump out of a concept van, clamber over a garden in front of a model home and make its way up a set of stairs to the door.
From there, it slides the package off its back and onto the front porch, before ringing the fake doorbell with one of its arms.
After delivering the package, it was even able to do a little dance.