Robots can now skateboard, thanks to researchers from Caltech
LEONARDO is a bipedal robot that combines flying and walking, allowing it to complete tasks such as riding a skateboard and walking a tightrope. Developed by researchers at Caltech, LEONARDO has been named after its build; LEgs ONboARD drOne, or LEO for short. LEO stands at 2.5 ft (76 cm) tall and is the first robot to use multi-joint legs and propeller-based thrusters.
The Caltech team drew inspiration for LEO's design from birds, which combine walking and flying movements to navigate various terrains. Bipedal robots mimic human movements allowing them to jump and climb. Adding flying abilities to the robot enables it to make manoeuvres requiring a finer degree of balance and avoid uneven ground.
The next step for the research team is to make LEO even smarter. They plan to make it more autonomous by enabling it to understand how much it needs to use its propellers to traverse uneven terrain or the safest and most efficient way to move from A to B.