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Cassie the Bipedal Robot Makes History After Completing a 5k Run


With a run time of 53 minutes and 3 seconds, Cassie the bipedal robot makes history as the first robot to run and complete a 5k course on a single charge.

Although it might be long compared to any human world record, having a robot successfully run a 5k course is impressive on its own considering that Cassie is only a pair of mechanical legs powered by a computer. As of writing, Cassie is also the fastest bipedal robot to run 100 meters with a Guinness World Record to prove it.

Using a deep reinforcement learning algorithm, Cassie was able to figure out how to stay upright and balance herself while running the 5k course in the fields of Oregon State University.

“Deep reinforcement learning is a powerful method in AI that opens up skills like running, skipping, and walking up and down stairs,” says undergrad student Yesh Godse who is part of the team that built Cassie.

To complete the 5k run, Cassie underwent a year’s worth of simulated environment training compressed into a week through a computing technique known as parallelization. This technique enabled Cassie to undergo a series of training experiences simultaneously thus, deep reinforcement learning.

Professor Jonathan Hurst, who is also the Chief Technology Officer at Agility Robotics, lead the team who built and invented Cassie. He marks Cassie’s history and Guinness Record accomplishment as the first of many robotics feats.

“This may be the first bipedal robot to learn to run, but it won’t be the last. I believe control approaches like this are going to be a huge part of robotics. The exciting part of this race is the potential. Using learned policies for robot control is a very new field, and this 100-meter dash is showing better performance than other control methods. I think progress is going to accelerate from here.”, Hurst says.

Cassie the Bipedal Robot Makes History After Completing a 5k Run

Cassie was invented and built by a team from the Dynamics Robotics Laboratory in Oregon State University’s College of Engineering after receiving a grant of $1 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense.

According to the team, Cassie and robots alike will be used for commercial purposes that can help industries in deliveries, warehousing, and even home assistance.

Sota Takahashi

Sota Takahashi is a Japanese-born electrical engineer. At the age of 18, he moved to Seattle and completed his Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Washington, Seattle. Being a fan of all things tech, he channels his geeky side through this website, and with his wife Linda, shares knowledge about robot pets and how they can be lifelong and advantageous companions for both children and the elderly.

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