When autonomous robots leap

In the midst of what’s become almost an overload of drone photography and filming… the below video caught my eye.

First, it’s not a helicopter drone… it’s a plane drone that only goes forward and does so quite fast. Second, it’s autonomous… meaning it alters it’s flight path in real time as it heads into (literally) a forest of random obstacles.

And then I came across this MIT-creation.

We’ve all seen endless robot fails… expensive experiments that run into walls or trip and fall. The simple truth it that those fails are just visual representations of invention and iteration. Those trials lead to something like this. A cheetah that can jump over obstacles coming at them in seemingly random heights and cadence.

Note the DARPA end card, “funded by DARPA Maximum Mobility and Manipulation.” That begs the question, is the following a behind-the-scenes look at the next Star Wars film or a trailer for the next regional conflict?