Leg over wheels: Ghost robotics’ Minitaur proves legged capabilities over difficult terrain

07 March 2017

share this:

Ghost Robotics—a leader in fast and lightweight direct-drive legged robots—announced recently that its Minitaur model has been updated with advanced reactive behaviors for navigating grass, rock, sand, snow and ice fields, urban objects and debris, and vertical terrain.

The latest gaits adapt reactively to unstructured environments to maintain balance, ascend steep inclines up to 35º, climb up to 15cm curb-sized steps, crouch to fit under crawl spaces as low as 27cm, and operate at variable speeds and turning rates. Minitaur’s high-force capabilities enable it to leap up to 40cm onto ledges and across gaps of up to 80cm. Its high control bandwidth allows it to actively balance on two legs, and its high speed operation allows its legs to navigate challenging environments rapidly, whilst reacting to unexpected contact.

“Our primary focus since releasing the Minitaur late last year has been expanding its behaviors to traverse a wide range of terrains and real-world operating scenarios,” said Gavin Kenneally, and Avik De, Co-founders of Ghost Robotics. “In a short time, we have shown that legged robots not only have superior baseline mobility over wheels and tracks in a variety of environments and terrains, but also exhibit a diverse set of behaviors that allow them to easily overcome natural obstacles. We are excited to push the envelope with future capabilities, improved hardware, as well as integrated sensing and autonomy.”

Ghost Robotics is designing next-generation legged robots that they claim are superior to wheeled and tracked autonomous vehicles in real-world field applications. They are also attempting to substantially reduce costs to drive adoption and scalable deployments. Whilst a commercial version of the Ghost Minitaur robot is slated for delivery in the future, the current development platform is in high demand, and has been shipped to many top robotics researchers worldwide (Carnegie Mellon, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, U.S. Army Research Labs and Google) for use in a broad range of research and commercialization initiatives.

“We are pleased with our R&D progress towards commercializing the Ghost Minitaur to prove legged robots can surpass the performance of wheel and track UGVs, while keeping the cost model low to support volume adoption—which is certainly not the case with existing bipedal and quadrupedal robot vendors,” said Jiren Parikh, Ghost Robotics, CEO.

In the coming quarters, the company plans to demonstrate further improvements in mobility, built-in manipulation capabilities, integration with more sensors, built-in autonomy for operation with reduced human intervention, as well as increased mechanical robustness and durability for operation in harsh environments. Watch this space.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in:

See all the latest robotics news on Robohub, or sign up for our weekly newsletter.

tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Alex Kirkpatrick is a passionate writer and science communicator...
Alex Kirkpatrick is a passionate writer and science communicator...

Related posts :

How do we control robots on the moon?

In the future, we imagine that teams of robots will explore and develop the surface of nearby planets, moons and asteroids - taking samples, building structures, deploying instruments.
25 September 2022, by , and

Have a say on these robotics solutions before they enter the market!

We have gathered robots which are being developed right now or have just entered the market. We have set these up in a survey style consultation.
24 September 2022, by

Shelf-stocking robots with independent movement

A robot that helps store employees by moving independently through the supermarket and shelving products. According to cognitive robotics researcher Carlos Hernández Corbato, this may be possible in the future. If we engineer the unexpected.
23 September 2022, by

RoboCup humanoid league: Interview with Jasper Güldenstein

We talked to Jasper Güldenstein about how teams transferred developments from the virtual humanoid league to the real-world league.
20 September 2022, by and

Integrated Task and Motion Planning (TAMP) in robotics

In this post we will explore a few things that differentiate TAMP from “plain” task planning, and dive into some detailed examples with the pyrobosim and PDDLStream software tools.
16 September 2022, by



Building Communities Around AI in Africa, with Benjamin Rosman

Deep Learning Indaba is an organization that empowers and builds communities around Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning across Africa. Benjamin Rosman dives into how Deep Learning Indaba is impacting these communities.
14 September 2022, by

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association