MIT is back with the latest version of its Cheetah quadrupedal robot, the min Cheetah, and it’s got a new trick up its sleeve: it can do backflips. Backflipping robots is nothing new Boston Dynamics’ much bigger Atlas robot pulled off the trick in november 2017 but the Mini Cheetah is the first four legged robot to do it, which is almost more impressive. After all, plenty of humans can backflip, but how many dogs do you know that can do the same thing (the answer, apparently is “a bunch of them” but still.)
The Mini Cheetah is also (as the name implies) a smaller version of the larger Cheetah 3 from last year it weights around 20 pounds, and can trot along at up to 2.45 meters per second (around 5.5 miles per hour), which seems useful to know, just in case things go all blackmirror on us. Still, there’s something about the size and design that seems to make the Mini Cheetah more friendly looking.
It can jump! Roll over! Trot along you! I defy anyone to watch the Mini Cheetah run through a pile and leaves and not think “Awwww, who’s a good boy?” Unlike the slightly more polished Boston Dynamics SpotMini, which is intended to be an actual, real product, the Mini Cheetah is just a research project, so you likely won’t be able to buy one ever. In the meantime though, we’ll always have the dream of an adorable, backflipping robot dog future.
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