MIT is back in the news with its Mini Cheetah back-flipping! As the latest version of MIT’s Cheetah quadrupedal robot, the Mini Cheetah joins the league of robots that can back-flip. Although, it’s to be noted that Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot stunned us with the back-flip- way back in 2017. Of course, the Atlas robot was a humanoid one, very different from the quadrupedal.
The Mini Cheetah, on the other hand, marks an important landmark in robotics as it’s the first four-legged robot to pull off a back-flip. Back-flipping on two legs is easier to do than on four legs. But the Mini Cheetah makes it look so easy! As part of the Cheetah series that MIT launched last year, the Mini Cheetah weighs 20 pounds. The robot is capable of running at up to 2.45 meters per second, that’s around 5.5 miles per hour.
Despite being ferocious in its features, the Mini Cheetah still looks and feels friendly. It can jump, roll over, and walk just beside you. However, the Mini Cheetah is just a research project, MIT says. Boston Dynamics had also launched a similar robot: SpotMini, which is more refined and was released as an actual product. But the back-flip as a quadrupedal is certainly a breakthrough for the Mini Cheetah.