Monday, 22 Aug, 2011 Technology

Latest Invention: MABEL - World's Fastest Human-Like Running Robot


A group of scientists at a University of Michigan (U-M) lab managed to come up with a bipedal robot dubbed MABEL that can run at a speed 10.9 km/h (6.8 mph). This is the world's fastest robot that runs like a human.

The first appearance of the robot was in 2008 when it was invented by professor Jessy Grizzle who worked together with doctoral students at the University of Michigan Koushil Sreenath and Hae-Won Park and later Jonathan Hurst, a doctoral student at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Back then the robot could run on a flat surface only.

The next step was to improve the robot so it could move fast on an uneven terrain. The team required a couple of years to come up with feedback algorithms that allowed MABEL to maintain its balance while responding to its surroundings in real time. The first real test of the machine took place in July 2011.

To be able to run like a human, the robot was built to distribute its weight the same way a person does. It features a heavier torso and light, flexible legs fitted with springs that play the role of muscles.

According to the researchers, their latest invention can deal with uneven terrain, run inside different structures and avoid obstacles better than its counterparts, like ASIMO. In the near future such machine could be used as soldiers and/or rescuers.

More about the project find here.

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