DARPA shows off a robot that knows how to climb stairs

By Muriel Kane
Sunday, April 15, 2012 20:17 EDT
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DARPA stair-climbing robot screencap
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been creating a series of increasingly agile robots, such as the robotic “cheetah” it featured last month. The latest offering may not be as light on its cybernetic feet, but the new stair-climbing robot is remarkable in its own right for its uncanny imation of a human trudging up a flight of stairs.

As described by Geekosystem, “The video was released in conjunction with DARPA’s robotics challenge, which has a $2 million prize to the team that can complete a series of difficult tasks. The goal, according to DARPA, is to ‘push the state-of-the-art in robotics beyond today’s capabilities in support of the DoD’s disaster recovery mission.’”

The stair-climbing robot is the product of Boston Dynamics, one of the competitors in next October’s challenge, and is being featured by DARPA as an example of the capacities that extries will be expected to demonstrate.

The second half of the video shows an earlier Boston Dynamics robot walking along a treadmill and doing pushups. The company apparently intends to combine both sets of capabilities in the robot that it enters in the competition.

This video was uploaded to YouTube by DARPAtv, April 11, 2012

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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