‘100m 24 seconds’ biped robot first Guinness World Records
Developed with ideas from the speed ostrich walking method that can be completed in 3 hours of a marathon
The bipedal robot 'Casie' is challenging the Guinness record for running 100 meters.  Courtesy of Oregon State University
The bipedal robot ‘Casie’ is challenging the Guinness record for running 100 meters. Courtesy of Oregon State University

The current world record for running 100 meters is 9.58 seconds, set by Usain Bolt in 2009. Converted to hours, the speed is 37 km/h.

How fast will the robot run? In sci-fi movies, a fast robot that can catch up to even a car appears, but the moving speed of the two-legged robot so far is, at best, only a quick walk or canter.

Boston Dynamics’ representative humanoid robot Atlas, which is incorporated into Hyundai Motor Company, moves at a speed of 2.5 meters per second. This is equivalent to jogging at 9 km/h.

The humanoid robot Asimo, which was developed by Honda in Japan in 2000 and became very popular, was retired in 2018 and walked at a speed of 3.7 km/h. In 2011, researchers at the University of Michigan introduced Mabel, a bipedal robot capable of running up to 3 meters per second, but it did not escape the laboratory dimension.

Now, for the first time, a bipedal robot with the ability to ‘run’ on outdoor terrain has appeared.

The main character is Cassie, a bipedal robot developed by Agility Robotics, founded by roboticists at Oregon State University in the US.

Agility Robotics announced on the 27th that Cassie was registered in the Guinness World Records as the ‘fastest biped robot running 100m’ by running 100 meters in 24.73 seconds in a record measurement conducted in May. This corresponds to a speed of 4 meters per second and 14 kilometers per hour. This is the speed that can complete the full marathon course in 3 hours. It’s not an athlete’s level, but it’s enough to catch up with the running level of an average adult.

Cathy’s record began to be measured the moment she started from a standing position, just like in a real 100-meter run. In order to receive Guinness World Records, you must not fall after running, and Cathy also met this condition.

Kathy was inspired by the ostrich and developed it.  Courtesy of Oregon State University

Kathy was inspired by the ostrich and developed it. Courtesy of Oregon State University

Starting and stopping is more difficult than running

According to the released video, Kathy ran in a similar way to running while maintaining an upright position with her knees bent like an ostrich. The actual cache was developed based on the idea of ​​the ostrich’s gait.

Cathy, which was launched in 2017 with development support from the High Defense Planning Agency (Darpa), set a record of running 5 km in 53 minutes on a single charge last year. At that time, the speed was about 1.6 meters per second.

The researchers focused on verifying stability and durability in last year’s run, but this year’s run focused on speed.

The research team used a computer technology called ‘parallelization’ to run 100 meters, compressing the amount to be trained for a year in a simulation environment into one week and intensive training.

“Cathy can perform a variety of gait, but through this training, we found the most efficient gait for different speeds,” the researchers said.

The biggest hurdle in the 100-meter run was starting and stopping in a stable position rather than running. Just as taking off and landing is more difficult than gliding in an airplane, it is the most difficult for a running robot to start stably from a standing position and then stop again without falling over, the research team said. Cassie has successfully overcome this hurdle. However, Cassie didn’t run the course on her own. There are no cameras or sensors in the cache, and it works with a remote control.

Oregon State University professor Jonathan Hirst, who is also a co-founder of the company, said, “Cash may be the first biped robot to learn to run, but it won’t be the last.”

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