SALTO – Teaching an old robot new tricks
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SALTO – Teaching an old robot new tricks

(upbeat music) – SALTO is a little 100 gram robot, and it’s only about one
foot long altogether, but we think it can do a bunch
of really exciting tricks. I have been working on
SALTO for almost four years. It’s been so much fun
the whole way through. With the first version of SALTO, we demonstrated that it can
jump once off the ground and then again off the wall. Now with the newer version of SALTO, it can run for up to 10 minutes at a time or even a little bit more and do hundreds of jumps in that period. Its maximum jump is about four feet high and can run eight or 10 miles an hour which is pretty fast for a little guy. It can clear obstacles by
making really large jumps or by jumping far. It can even follow a moving
target if we tell it where it is. The robot can also chain
these maneuvers together so that it can jump up onto things and clear obstacles very quickly. – It’s worked probably better than any of our other
robots we’ve had so far. These fast accelerations
let us move on surfaces where a conventional robot
would just fall right off. – Three, two, one. The motion capture room is one of our experimental test setups where we have almost a
dozen cameras on the ceiling all watching the robot. This is the motion capture software we use to track where SALTO is in the room. All these green lines point
to where the cameras see it, and this is how we can figure out how fast it’s moving
and what angle it’s at. This is SALTO’s control board. This carries the little, tiny computer that’s doing all of the processing and runs the algorithms
that we’ve written for it. My ground station laptop listens to the motion capture system
to know where the robot is and then calculates what
we want the robot to do and sends a radio signal to let SALTO know what angle we’d like it to
reach and how to extend its leg. You’ll see it tilt over forward so that it will bounce
up onto the platform. Then in the air, it will
redirect itself backwards so it will jump off of that
platform onto the one behind it so that it can get to the spot
it needs to very accurately. (mellow music) Now that SALTO can go
to a particular spot, it needs to know which way it’s pointed, and so to do that, the robot has to use its onboard inertial measurement unit which kind of works like
a human’s inner ear. Essentially, give it a
sense for which way is up when it’s jumping so it doesn’t fall over. When we take SALTO out of
the motion capture room and out into the real world, it has to do all of that on its own. Measuring where it is and which way is up and how fast it’s going. Next, there’s a lot of things that we’d like to get SALTO to work on. We’d like it to move on
more complicated surfaces besides things like concrete or wood. Maybe they’re things like grass or gravel. – [Ron] There’s lots of things one can do by adding on pairs of
legs or adding on arms. So we would extend
SALTO to add ability to, for example, grab onto branches to land and launch from those things. – There’s lots of things that
go into making the robot work, and all of them have to work together. The leg mechanism and the
algorithms and the control and me as the person with the joysticks, and when I can get them
all to work together and get the robot to go places, it’s super exciting and really fun. – [Man] Three, two, one. (cheering loudly) – [Man] Nice job man.

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45 thoughts on “SALTO – Teaching an old robot new tricks

  1. This is incredible! What a fascinating video and hypnotising robot, I wonder how it would handle stairs, jumping too far would leave it less room to tackle the next step so finding a way to counteract any mistakes would be an interesting challenge.

  2. Amazing. I remember seeing the original video about SALTO years ago; incredible to see the evolution of this project!

  3. heat/human seeking jumping grenades and other baddies?. this video might be a record of how the apocalypse actually got started. laugh now all you want……….but this robot may get the jump on all of humanity one day.

  4. Молодцы. Но можно сделать проще. Убрать вентиляторы и балансиры. Добавить лишь одну малогабаритную деталь. Это приведет к большей точности движения, более мощному прыжку, экономии электро энергии. Можно добавить и другие нюансы, для улучшения конструктива.

  5. Important R&D next-steps:
    1. Add googly eyes
    2. Trigger various highpitched "Wheee" / "Wooohoo" / "Yipeee" sounds on 1 in (n) jumps
    3. Make nine more and have them follow you everywhere…

  6. I love the protective net at 1:56 – I would be worried about that tiny robot attacking me as well…

  7. is there some sort of auto-tune or pitch correction on the voices in this video? They sound really strange. Bouncy robot is cool, but the audio is distracting.

  8. Awesome little Robo-dude! And just a nice video to watch, people being happy at what they do.

  9. 1st reaction: how cute and jumpy! I want to pet it! I want one!
    2nd reaction: stick an explosive to it = urban warfare hand grenade of the future

  10. Scale it up and try and replace KIWI-BOTS (dangerous..,) clear a (rocky) beach head with 25,000 of these little guys instead of 25,000 men (though not my fave….) planetary explorers (put an icepick on the foot and go to Enceladus…. cool…) or even one intricate and amazing toy! I hope it leads to fine application! ☺︎👍🏼

  11. WAIT A MINUTE! This thing is powerful and the4y did not make groups of them? they did not make a web of them? they did not make them able t link and un-link together or work as a team? DO THEY UNDERSTAND THE POWER THEY HAVE DISCOVERED? go anywhere do anything AND WHAT ABOUT SIZE? 5 foot tall version and 10 foot tall version….like what is going on here? such things should of existed last year and be shown off this year….humans are so dam slow on things when any fool knows the programming be the same at any size and all sizes should be seen by now……I question the logic in the investing and goals here…. a 10 foot version could cross landscapes a lot faster and the get back up part is still missing… know the arms that come out to lift it to jump again…you know the other most important part it needs. and the whole how high can it be dropped and get a controlled bounce done and what would be left behind to do it…on larger ones it can have self location attempts to hit goals and correct in mid flight angles to make next jump odds better. The different feet I have not seen ether for different terrains like sandy or semi soft earth……I would say 99% of the work is missing and clearly it is lack of funding and vision on grand scales. Such devices could theoretically carry parts to build something even more useful in remote locations….I can see on go through a sisater zone to deliver a message of hope or medicines to trapped ones….I see so much potential for such thing synchronizing and helping each other be functional…I assume one giant one can carry many smaller one and they can carry a few tiny ones all in same shot of deployment when needed. One day you will just have to say to them HERE and HUMANS SAVE THEM and they be dropped find and serve the needy such things could hunt food bring water find paths out….I can see the giant jump to the building then hook as a medium one use it to jump higher then a smaller one to hook higher all to link a wire to lift them all higher and reset….such things could reach top of buildings and see inside or save lives…….giant big medium small tiny…all together are powerful things! AND ya I gave you the path to your future…you can send me some cash and help my dreams too.

  12. Perhaps someday you could make them responsive enough to intercept projectiles and we can stop killing one another

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