Oregon State University (OSU) College of Engineering is breaking records with its speedy bipedal robot known as Cassie. The machine set the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100 meters by a bipedal robot. Cassie only needed 24.73 seconds to cover the distance and did so without a single fall. Usain Bolt holds the current 100-meter record for humans with a time of just 9.58 seconds. So, Cassie has a bit of catching up to do, but the robot’s developers are taking it one step at a time.
While Cassie Bipedal Robot was developed by OSU College of Engineering, it was produced by Agility Robotics–an OSU spinout company. Agility Robotics is leading the charge in building bipedal robots designed to work. One of the company’s slogans is Enable Humans to be More Human. With the help of robots, Agility Robotics believes machines can take over the back-breaking work required in warehouses, resulting in a happier society. Whether that dream comes to fruition or inadvertently creates more issues is unseen; however, Cassie is making a splash in the world of robotics.
To achieve world record results, the team of designers had to come up with some crafty ways to make a running robot possible. Its legs, unlike humans, are designed to bend backward like an ostrich, which is a surprisingly fast bird that can sprint up to 43 mph. The bipedal robot is not quite autonomous and requires someone to control it. So, no one has to worry about being chased down by a self-controlled robot yet. Despite not being autonomous, Cassie can perform a few nifty moves, such as walking, running, going up and down stairs, and crouching.
Cassie has been put to the test before establishing the world record for the fastest 100 meters by a bipedal robot. In 2021, the robot successfully ran five kilometers around the OSU campus. It took Cassie about 53 minutes and only required one single battery charge. When Cassie completed both accomplishments, the 100 meters and the 5k, the robot did not have an upper section attached to it (meaning it was just legs). Agility Robotics’ other machines look more like a human with a lower and upper body that will also be able to use arms to do tasks.
Although Cassie Bipedal Robot is not fully autonomous, machine learning and AI technology are still some of the critical features of Cassie. As the robot runs, the software can collect data, make alterations, and help the developers make the most efficient machine possible. The machine learning algorithms allow Cassie to stay upright for long distances. The robot did fall down a few times during the 5k run due to an overheated computer and a turning issue. However, bipedal robots are still a new type of machine, and, as of now, things seem to be heading in a positive direction for OSU and Agility Robotics.
Agility Robotics has already proven that its work robots can perform certain tasks in warehouses and other work settings. Interested clients can purchase robots through the company’s website by contacting the sales team. A price is not listed as of now.