HyQ quadruped robot from Italy can trot, kick

October 31, 2011
HyQ hydraulic quadruped robot

HyQ hydraulic quadruped robot (credit: IIT)

The HyQ (hydraulic quadruped)
robot, developed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) engineers, is a hydraulic quadruped (hy-q) designed to perform highly dynamic tasks such as running and jumping, an IEEE Spectrum blog reports.

Legged locomotion remains one of the biggest challenges in robotics, and the Italian team hopes that their robot can become a platform for research and collaboration among different groups — a kind of open-source BigDog (more like “LittleDog,” but this one can kick).

HyQ, which weighs in at 70 kilograms, can walk and trot at speeds up to 6 kilometers per hour.

The IIT researchers say it could be used for search and rescue missions in dangerous environments. You could send the robot to navigate autonomously looking for victims, for example, or teleoperate it to investigate a disaster-stricken zone.