Using this one simple adjustment, any quadruped robot can quickly turn into a humanoid!
One of our favorite characters in Mel Brooks's "Space balls" is "Mog," Who is Half man and Half dog, or as he puts it, "I am my own's best friend." well, it turns out that this little robot can be its own best friend too, as it can quickly turn from a quadrupedal robot to a bipedal one.
While quadruped robots typically have good stability and load-carrying capacity, bipedal robots offer higher flexibility/adaptability to various tasks and environments. The best of both worlds can be combined in a multimodal-legged robot. Now, we have seen quadruped robots turn into bipedal before. However, they almost always pay the price in terms of weight, complexity, and cost because they are so purposefully designed to be able to do this. This research is unique because it can transform any quadruped into a bipedal robot with a minimal amount of hardware.
The mechanical component of this 'bipedalization' is a simple stick that is 3D-printed and attached to the shins of the quadruped's back legs. Without these shin attachments, the robot wouldn't be statically stable and, as a result, would need more support to stand and walk steadily. With this method, its center of mass is completely supported. The Mini Cheetah robot appears to be the platform on which this is demonstrated in the video, but again, the platform isn't that important as long as it meets some fundamental requirements.
So, what do you think? Ready to teach your robo-dog some new tricks?