Someday soon a bipedal robot might knock on your door to deliver goods ordered online. We have already said something about "autonomous cargo" in this post: unlike a “mobile suitcase”, however, the biped robot would have an autonomy of movement quite similar to that of a human.
Associate Professor of Robotics Jonathan Hurst, Oregon State University, is convinced to the point of leading Agility Robotics, a company that (also) exploits university research to develop a two-legged robot: the prototype is ready . Her name is Cassie.
First of all, Cassie is not currently structured to carry goods: his is a first development platform, which will be made available to other institutes to experiment with increasingly advanced solutions, up to the marketing of a finished product.
On the other hand, Cassie was also born from the "ashes" of a previous development platform: atrias, which had a still immature development for the engine component, too exposed and inefficient. "With Cassie," says Hurst, "we solved those problems and the robot is now able to continue its journey in all weather conditions, even evolving remotely with periodic remote updates."
Just to make you understand the pace of development: ATRIAS is a platform born 4 years ago. It had been designed and implemented to test and demonstrate theoretical concepts related to the best efficiency robotic setup to reproduce walking and running outdoors on different types of terrain.
Cassie today, just 4 years later, has shown that several of those theoretical studies have effective validity, and not only: compared to her "predecessor" Cassie already weighs half, is twice as fast and has triple efficiency, with improvements enormous in agility and robustness.
What else to say, friends: when is the first public stroll?