I wanted to see it take multiple steps in a single shot. As an example, the videos released by Boston Dynamics are so interesting because you get a mostly unedited shot of the what the machine can do. This is just a disappointing commercial.
All that effort, and it's a tripod-gait (one leg moves at a time) walk and a slow bound (front and back legs move as pairs) run. It's mirroring the users motion, like the General Electric walking truck from 1965.
There have been many fast-running robots. Boston Dynamics gets the most press, but there are others. I have an old patent on this from the early 1990s. It seems quite possible to do much better at legged running than people are doing, but there's no market and it's too expensive for the toy market. The Marines rejected the Legged Squad Support System, the militarized version of BigDog.
If you're going to build a big four-legged machine, it would be interesting to do it with double-ended air cylinders. Then you have adjustable compliance and energy recovery. A muscle can be thought of as a spring with an adjustable spring constant, zero point, and damping. Humans get back about 70% of running energy as elastic recovery. Cheetahs, about 90%. So energy recovery is crucial to fast running.
It's hard to implement that mechanically (there are mechanical kludges that do it, but not very well) but straightforward pneumatically. Carrying an engine and air compressor is usually too bulky for mobile robots, but in truck size, it would work. The control problem is different. You have to work in force space, not position space. It's not a good exoskeleton system, but it's a good robot.
When Google bought all those robotics companies, I was expecting great things. But nothing happened. Top management lost interest. Last year, Google sold off Boston Dynamics and Schaft to Softbank. Maybe they'll do something.
It's quite do-able today. When I was working on this in the early 1990s, gyros were big and expensive, as were accelerometers. Getting enough mobile compute power was hard. Nobody had 3D sensing good enough to profile terrain. Batteries were still NiCd. Motors were weaker. Power MOSFETs were bulkier and more troublesome. All those hardware problems have been solved. There's also been a lot of progress in control theory. Back then, it was mostly PID. Adaptive feedforward control was exotic and rare. Now advanced control is common. It takes smartphone levels of CPU power, which is a non-problem today.
But there's still no market.
That video is uniquely horrible.
The problem with actually running is that it likely will burn way more power at any speed where its trying to run, so this likely would be really boring to watch -- "he has 2 more seconds of his turbo to use... ohhh... and he's out.. gotta conserve power to avoid getting run down by the other robot at a blistering 4 miles per hour.."
Thought it was going to be a really large Strandbeest, disappointed that its worse.
Looks like someone with a lot of money watched the third Matrix film and thought "I want one of those suits."
I'm highly skeptical that we'll ever see humans fighting against each other in giant metal deathtraps. We have demolition derbies but they're intentionally kept to a slower speed. Maybe some kind of sumo type fighting would be possible if it was highly restricted.
Some top-notch CG at the end.
From this it barely walks, let alone runs. I thought maybe they were holding back for a shock finale race or something but then it switched to CG and that was it.
It's cool that we are getting heavy things to have feet but why?
A hummer weighs 2000lbs less and can go well over 80mph, what benefit does this concept have over armored cars?
terrible. fire the marketing people. even if the target audience of this is kids (in the hopes that they will have purchasing power when this thing is ready for market) it is still terrible. (don't get me wrong, i usually live for anything robotic, new tech, mech stuff but this is embarrassing).
excessively deep voice narrator - tick.
15 seconds of content stretched to a 2 minute video - tick.
weak cgi - tick.
overly dramatic music - tick.
people striking heroic poses - tick.
and "XMech Racing League"? really?
The gamification is cool regardless of how ugly it’s executed. But if this goes anywhere it will most likely draw attention from less entertaining purposes.
That demo video may have been the worst demonstration of a product I have ever seen.
What's so special about it?
Cue guy putting on aviators
Looks more like a dune buggy with legs than your classic Gundam, but still... pretty cool.
I wonder where all the money came from.
It looks more like it can hobble 4mph, based on that video.