Ghost Robotics Launches Autonomous Direct-Drive Legged Robot Platform

Published: 14 Sep 2016 | Author: Mike Rees

Ghost Minitaur

Ghost Robotics, LLC, a developer of legged, direct-drive (gearless) and proprioceptive robotics technologies, has announced the launch of its first direct-drive legged robot platform, the Ghost Minitaur.

Founded by University of Pennsylvania PhD candidates, Avik De and Gavin Kenneally, Ghost Robotics is researching and building legged robots that it believes to be superior to wheeled and tracked autonomous vehicles in many field applications. The company’s underlying research and intellectual property have additional applications in surgery, lab operations, healthcare and advanced gait research. The company launched in October 2015 and is backed by the University of Pennsylvania and PCI Ventures, which incubate Penn’s leading research and innovations.

“We are extremely excited to be launching our first commercial robot platform, Ghost Minitaur,” said Gavin Kenneally, co-founder of Ghost Robotics. “This has been a long journey in the conceptualization and development of the robot, and we see many applications for the platform ahead and underlying technology,” added Avik De, co-founder.

Ghost Minitaur is a medium-sized legged robot highly adept at perceiving tactile sensations. Its high torque motors, motor controllers, and specialized leg design allow it to run and jump over difficult terrain while actively balancing, climb fences, and rapidly reorient from falls. High-speed and high-resolution encoders let the robot see and feel the ground through the motors and adapt quickly.

A key application includes deployment of Ghost Minitaur as an autonomous sensor vehicle for public safety, military, exploration, mining, agricultural and hazardous environment operation. The robot can also be used in advanced gait R&D and can be programmed for a range of gaits (bounding, crabbing, walking, trotting), climbing stairs and fences, and even opening doors.

“The forward thinking vision of both Gavin and Avik is quite impressive,” said Jiren Parikh, Ghost Robotics, CEO. “The market opportunity for legged robots in operating environments where wheeled or tracked robots have limitations is substantial.”