In 31 minutes he was at the summit of the Etzel. In the future, the robot dog Anymal will be used in rescue missions and even in space.

Anymal in Action

The four-legged robot goes on a hike up the Etzel in Canton Schwyz.

It's about

  • The robot dog Anymal climbed Mount Etzel in Canton Schwyz within just 31 minutes. It took one hour and 18 minutes for the entire descent.

  • He covered a distance of around 2.2 kilometers and 120 meters in altitude.

  • The mechanical dog was developed by robotics researcher Takahiro Miki and his team at ETH Zurich.

  • In the future, the robot dog will be used for so-called search and rescue missions. It should also be used in space and on foreign planets.

2.2 kilometers and 120 meters in altitude in one hour and 18 minutes: That is the proud result of the robot dog Anymal. The four-legged robot had to overcome steep terrain, high steps, tree roots and slippery ground on its hike to the Schwyzer Etzel and back – apparently effortlessly, Anymal only needed 31 minutes for the route to the summit. Official signage says 35 minutes.

The master of the mechanical dog is robotics researcher Takahiro Miki. With his team from ETH Zurich, he developed Anymal for so-called search and rescue missions, i.e. to search for people buried in dangerous areas and to rescue them.

Together with the descent, it was one hour and 18 minutes. The record in this time: 2.2 kilometers and 120 meters in altitude.

ETH robot &uuml ;practices in the Schwyz Alps for space missions

The master of the mechanical dog is Takahiro Miki (centre). Together with his team at ETH Zurich, he developed Anymal.

ETH robot &uuml ;bt in the Schwyz Alps for space missions

The goal of the project: One day it should be used for so-called search and rescue missions.

Robot with animal characteristics

Up until now, animals have primarily been used for such missions. Up until now, robots can hardly match the performance of animals, which can move safely and quickly over difficult terrain. A great advantage of animals is that they can not only see their surroundings, but also feel them. This enables them to assess the ground better and slow down if necessary.

The ETH researchers have therefore not only equipped Anymal with optical sensors, but also given it a haptic perception. It cleverly combines visual information about the terrain and information about the nature of the subsoil.

Poor visibility and difficult surfaces such as slippery grass and snow-covered surfaces are therefore not a problem for Anymal. “By hiding the visual information in such situations, the robot can navigate through dusty, wet and dimly lit environments,” Miki explained in an interview with the Keystone-SDA news agency.

Today the Etzel, tomorrow Mars

In addition to rescue missions, the robot, which weighs around 50 kilograms, will also be used in space and on foreign planets in the future. However, this requires more time and research. Miki: «It still needs someone to give navigation commands. Of course, it would be better on another planet, he could work completely autonomously.»

Anymal didn't learn to walk in the mountains, but in the laboratory. The robot does not get to know different situations in the real world, but in a simulated environment in which hundreds of different terrains can be presented to it in a very short time. If the robot is then released into the real world, it will basically already be familiar with every situation.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7341

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