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ADABOX 008 is all about building robots! JOIN NOW! Today’s letter is W for WildCat! @adafruit

A while ago we made R is for Robots – a coloring book that explores robots, robot makers, and making robot friends. The next ADABOX (008) is all about building your own robots! Sign up now – we’re shipping late June/early July!

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Today’s letter is W for WildCat!

Boston Dynamics – The WildCat robot is the fastest free running quadruped robot in the World, running at 32 km/h. The previous record was 21 km/h, set in 1989 at MIT.

WildCat is powered by a methanol burning engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system (and makes a whale of a noise.) The robot uses a variety of gaits, including trotting, bounding, and galloping to maintain its balance while running and maneuvering over relatively flat terrain. The on-board computer uses dynamic control algorithms and a variety of sensors (IMU, ground contract, proprioception, visual odometry) to control and stabilize the running motion. It uses a set of laser range finders to accurately measure the robot’s height and attitude above the ground.

The control system that stabilizes WildCat was first developed on Cheetah, a laboratory prototype that ran 48 km/h, faster than Usain Bolt. (Cheetah ran indoors on a treadmill with no wind load, was constrained to move in a plane and was powered by a very large remote power supply.)

WildCat development was funded by DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program.

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