A new two-legged robot is coming to Michigan Engineering: the third generation biped in the lab of Jessy Grizzle, whose previous ‘bots have been programmed to walk unassisted over rough terrain and jog a nine-minute mile.
Cassie is the first offering from new startup Agility Robotics, spun out of the lab of Oregon State University’s Jonathan Hurst, who is a longtime collaborator of Grizzle’s. It is loosely modeled on the cassowary, a flightless bird similar to an ostrich. Legs with backward-facing knees attach to a short torso that holds batteries, motors and a pair of computers. U-M is receiving the first unit.
Read more: U-M first in line for new bird-inspired walking robot (Michigan Engineering, 2/9/17)
CASSIE’s Legacy: Ostrich-Inspired MARLO and ATRIUS
CASSIE won’t be the first biped in Prof. Grizzle’s lab to walk like a bird. MARLO and her cousin at the University of Oregon, ATRIUS, were modeled after an ostrich: as tall as a person, perched atop scrawny legs, and partially incorporating the mechanics of bird athletics.
Robotic Ostrich to the Rescue (Audubon, 4/27/15)
Grizzle’s History Controlling Robots
Prof. Jessy Grizzle has a long history of working on the control algorithms for different bipedal robots. His main projects have been focused on three previous models, RABBIT, MABEL, and MARLO, each with increasing complexity. MABEL set the record for fastest bipedal robot with knees, and MARLO took that work into the three-dimensional world with free-standing motion. Recently, MARLO mastered the ability to walk on steep inclines and random, uneven terrain.
MARLO, Free-Standing Robot
Has stepped outside and tackled bumpy fields and steep hills.
MABEL, the Bipedal Robot
Set the record for fastest bipedal robot with knees.
Run, RABBIT, Run!
Walked unassisted on the first try thanks to Grizzle’s super algorithms.
Robotics at Michigan will soon benefit from a new $75M robotics facility, bringing together the field’s research currently scattered across many different departments. Prof. Grizzle is leading planning for this facility, as well as a separate program in robotics, as Michigan Robotics’ first director.
CASSIE in the News
Michigan Daily – University professor first in line to test transformative robot ‘Cassie” (2/21/2017)
Fox News – VIDEO: U-M to begin experimenting with bird-inspired robot (2/13/2017)
IEEE Spectrum – Video Friday (2/10/2017)
Posted February 23, 2017