VIDEO: U-M to begin experimenting with bird-inspired robot

Posted at 7:56 AM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 13:34:17-05

It’s a robot inspired by a flightless bird, and soon the University of Michigan will begin experimenting with its capabilities. 

With two legs, backward facing knee-like joints and a short torso, researchers note that it may remind people a bit of an ostrich.

Named Cassie, the robot comes from Agility Robotics, a startup spun out of Oregon State University.

The University of Michigan is actually one of the first organizations to begin testing out Cassie, according to a news release from the university. Researchers say its design will allow them to push the boundaries and explore a variety of terrain.

"Cassie is tough. It is designed for the rough-and-tumble life of an experimental robot. In principle, we should not have to use a safety gantry of any kind," stated Professor Jessy Grizzle, the Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor and Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering, in a news release. "This will allow us to take the robot in wild places."

Another feature that makes this bot particularly special, according to U of M, is its battery and computing power.

U of M researchers expect to incorporate their own technology into Cassie. One plan is to install a guiding system to help the robot get itself through a number of situations.

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