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U of Pennsylvania start-up develops advanced four-legged robot to scan rough, dangerous terrain


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 28th, 2016

A University of Pennsylvania start-up has developed a four-legged robot designed to move across unknown, rough and vertical terrains.

Ghost Robotics’ medium-sized, gearless robot, the Ghost Minitaur, is superior to wheeled and tracked autonomous vehicles across a range of field applications, the company states.

Its high torque motors, motor controllers and unique leg design allow the device to run and jump over difficult paths, climb fences and rapidly reorient after falling. The Ghost Minitaur’s high-speed and high-resolution encoders enable it to see and sense the ground to adapt faster than the blink of an eye.

Applications for the robot include providing sensory analysis for public safety, military, exploration, mining, agriculture and hazardous environments. The Ghost Minitaur can also be programmed to move at a variety of gaits — bounding, crabbing, walking and trotting, for example — as well as climb stairs and even open doors.

“This has been a long journey in the conceptualization and development of the robot, and we see many applications for the platform ahead and underlying technology,” says Avik De, who co-founded Ghost Robotics alongside Gavin Kenneally, both PhD candidates at Penn.

The start-up is backed by Penn and PCI Ventures, the university’s innovation incubator.

“The forward thinking vision of both Gavin and Avik is quite impressive,” says Ghost Robotics CEO Jiren Parikh. “The market opportunity for legged robots in operating environments where wheeled or tracked robots have limitations is substantial.”

Source: Robotics & Automation News

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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