U. of Michigan expert puts bird-like robot through its paces

AP News
Posted: Oct 30, 2017 2:46 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A new two-legged robot has arrived at the University of Michigan.

And she's a rare bird.

Researchers say the bird-like "Cassie," which is capable of walking unassisted on rough and uneven terrain, has potential applications for search-and-rescue efforts and in the medical realm.

Cassie was built by Oregon-based Agility Robotics and purchased by Michigan researchers using grant money from the National Science Foundation and Toyota Research Institute. The robot's name is derived from the cassowary (KASS'-uh-WAIR'-ee), a flightless bird similar to an ostrich — and has legs with backward-facing knees attached to a short torso that holds computers, batteries and motors.

Although other institutions also have a Cassie, Michigan Robotics director Jessy Grizzle says his team is excited to put its cutting-edge programming to the test.