Robots usually have either legs or wheels to move them around. But this unusual robot has both. Its builders say the combination provides it with greater versatility than other quadruped robots, and from the looks of the video footage engineer Marko Bjelonic shared, I’d have to agree.
PhD research Bjelonic and engineers from ETH Zurich and the CERBERUS team worked together to create ANYmal, an autonomous robot with four legs and motorized wheels at their tips. The hybrid mechanism means it can roll quickly over smooth surfaces, but also step over obstacles that might stand in its way. That means it can tackle a wider variety of obstacles than wheeled ‘bots, but move faster than walking ‘bots. It moves around a bit like a human on rollerblades.
If you’d like to dig deeper into the technology at work in the ANYmal, you can read the full paper they submitted to the 2020 iEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation here.