Space & Innovation

Super-Fast Bipedal Robot Training for World Record

Atrias withstands kicking, pushing and a barrage of dodgeballs with impeccable balance and ease.

Atrias, a walking and running robot that has a spring in its step, is currently in training to become the fastest bipedal robot in the world.

"When this robot gets up to speed for walking, not even running yet, it will be the fastest bipedal robot in the world," Jonathan Hurst, an associate professor and robotic expert in the Oregon State University College of Engineering, told

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Researchers say they modeled Atrias after birds, which are arguably the fastest and most agile two-legged runners in the world.

The robot's four-bar carbon-fiber leg mechanism is very lightweight, and the legs are mounted to series-elastic fiberglass springs, which act both as a suspension and a means of mechanical energy storage.

So far, Atrias has demonstrated impeccable balance, withstanding kicks and pushes from a researcher as it hopped from one leg to another. The robot also handled a barrage of dodgeballs with ease.

Researchers believe their innovation could be used to send robots to disaster areas where it's too dangerous for humans to go, or the technology could be used in prosthetic limbs to give them more natural movement.

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The project is funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP).

In addition to training to become the fastest bipedal robot in the world, Atria also tends to brag about its accomplishments. The robot has its own Twitter handle, and tweets its progress on a daily basis.