HOUND, a novel four-legged robotic dog, recently set a new Guiness World Record for the fastest 100-meter dash by a quadruped robot.
Designed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (KAIST) Dynamic Robot Control and Design Laboratory, HOUND ran the 100 meters covered the distance in 19.87 seconds, at an average speed of 18.12km/h.
HOUND was designed with high-speed movement in mind, making it possible for it to engage in a running trot, walk long distances, traverse over grass, and climb a 22˚ slope. Its optimized mechanical design, particularly its gear configuration and motor controller, encourages its abilities.
‘Instantaneous and steady performance are important characteristics when deciding a motor for dynamic legged locomotion,’ said Young-Ha Shin, the robodog’s designer.
The knee and hip actuator are attached in a parallel configuration and power is transferred to the joints with a hollow shaft. A belt-pulley system allows a wide range of movements for the knee joint. Since high power transmission efficiency was required, HOUND’s developers chose a planetary gearbox system. Using reinforcement training, the robodog was trained using advanced simulation techniques.
‘All of these movements were achieved with a single motor controller trained in the simulation through reinforcement training,’ Shin said. ‘In order to push the limits of the actuator, motor characteristics were incorporated into the simulation to make the environment as close to the real world as possible.
In 2012, DARPA’s Cheetah robot was the first quadruped to set a new robotic land speed record of 45.5km/h. In 2022, Agility Robotics’ Cassie set a new GWR for a 100-meter dash in 24.73 seconds.
Currently, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt holds the 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds, so HOUND still has a long way to go.
By Marvellous Iwendi.
Source: New Atlas