Cassie, the Usain Bolt of robots

Cassie, l'Usain Bolt dei robot thumbnail

We have a new winner for the world record of 100 meters and no, he is not an Olympic champion. The primacy belongs to Cassiea bipedal robot that managed to walk 100 meters in just 24.73 seconds. A result that sees him slower than Usain Bolt by 9.58 seconds, but which still allows him to earn a important record.

Cassie, the bipedal robot almost as fast as Usain Bolt

We always thought that no one could run as fast as Usain Bolt, but this time “someone” came close. Cassie’s record time of 100 meters, in fact, represents an incredibly important milestone for robotics. Speed ​​and agility of the robot, refined by the training of Artificial Intelligence, have shown that bipedal robots can finally immerse themselves in motoristically complex situations without losing balance – a problem that has plagued researchers for a long time -.

“This is the first big step towards humanoid robots doing real work in the real world,” he commented Alan Fern, an Oregon State University professor who helped train the Cassie robot. “Because [ora] we can make robots move sturdy around the world on two legs ”. On the other hand, for a very long time the robotics sector has chased the project of a bipedal robot – just think that just a few days ago Elon Musk presented his Optimus -. But the real challenge has always been to be able to balance the robots on two legs, avoiding ruinous falls.

To solve this dilemma Alan Fern partnered with Jonathan Hunt, Oregon State University professor and co-founder of Agility Robotics. Together, the two trained the bipedal robots using il machine learning e neural networks, algorithms that mimic the way a human brain works. Beginning in 2017, the research team built by Fern trained the robot Cassie to walk correctly, using algorithms that rewarded him each time he made the exact movement. “This is all inspired by Pavlovian psychology,” Fern said. “Just learn to anticipate these rewards and do the right thing.” And the right thing, it seems, was to touch Usain Bolt’s 100m record.