Run, dino, run

A dinosaur on a treadmill isn't something you see every day – unless you happen to be at the Korean KAIST Institute Laboratory. Researchers there have developed a robot that can run at speeds of up to 46 km/h, using brushless high-performance DC motors by maxon.

This agile robot, "Raptor", is the fastest two-legged robot in the world. At 46 km/h, a 100-meter dash takes Raptor only 7.8 seconds, which would surpass the current world record held by Usain Bolt of 9.58 seconds.

The researchers of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), spent two years developing their robot modeled after a velociraptor dinosaur. It measures just under 50 cm tall and weighs a mere 3 kilograms. Its two feet are made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, with an artificial tendon tensing every time a foot comes down, storing energy for the next step. The main design challenge was getting the robot to run at high speeds over both gravel and paved roads.

Each of the robot's legs are driven by maxon's brushless DC motors. The drive systems consist of a 200 W high-performance EC-4pole 30 motor, combined with a GP 32 HP planetary gearhead and an MR encoder. These motors are controlled by a maxon ESCON Module 50/5.

What makes Raptor special is the robot's ability to maintain balance. This is achieved by means of a fast rotating rod which is driven by another EC-4pole motor. The Raptor is able to jump over obstacles up to 10 centimeters in height without stumbling. For now, the robot still depends on a support device, but the researchers are planning to develop it to the point where it is able to run independently. In the future, Raptor could be used as a surveillance or rescue robot.

 © maxon motor ag

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