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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.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.