You might be thinking to yourself, “What exactly is a robot dog and what exactly does a robot dog do?” Well, it can do many things, all without the help of the humans around it.
The robot dog’s name is ANYmal (get it?), and it is designed to go through all sorts of different terrains and landscapes, previously too dangerous for humans to reach…yes, including other planets.
This robot dog can basically walk through any sort of terrain. What else can it do?
All of this research was done by ETH Zurich in Switzerland; they also included a new skill that other previous robotic dogs didn’t have – while they walk through all of the rough terrain, it still takes care of itself all while moving quickly as well.
This robot dog is also able to use its senses to essentially ‘see’ all of the obstacles ahead of it.
Here’s what a PhD student from the research team had to say all about it:
"Until now when a robot used perception mostly they were just assuming that the map is always correct.~ Takahiro Miki, a PhD student at the Robotics Systems Lab at ETH Zurich"
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OBSTACLES DESIGNED BY THE ROBOTICS TEAM FOR THE DOG?
Things, such as deep snow and tall grass were used as some of the toughest additions to the landscape. These are things that might not be on an original map, something new that came up.
Whenever the dog reaches such an obstacle, it’s foot wasn’t allowed to touch the ground because its senses were going crazy, letting the dog know that something unknown was in its path.
WHERE EXACTLY WAS THIS TESTED AND WHAT WAS THE TERRAIN LIKE?
Mount Etzel up in the Swiss Alps was where this original test was performed. It’s measurements reigned in at just 1,098 meters above sea level.
Here’s what Miki (the same PhD student as mentioned up above) had to say about testing up in Mount Etzel way up in the Swiss Alps:
"The slope was quite steep, like it was even hard sometimes for us. It was quite exhausting but the robot could go over all of these obstacles and we didn’t need to help the robot."
The company that has done all of this research, with everyone in the robotics team included, hopes that all of ANYmal’s skills can also reach other places on Planet Earth, as well as hopefully one day getting deployed on various space missions as well!
While there are other robotic pups out there on the market, ANYmal is definitely one of a bark!
What do you think of ANYmal!? Will it’s skills be able to help space missions and pave the way for other robot dogs?!