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GOAT legs will let future robots handle rough terrain with ease
Simon Kalouche posits a new form of robotic leg, one designed for maximum range of motion and, more importantly, an easily control method for force reduction. In other words, this is the kind of leg you want on your robot when you send it to Mars. GOAT stands for Gearless Omni-directional Acceleration-vectoring Topology and uses a single motor and planetary gear to create a highly dynamic range of motion. The GOAT system allows for each leg to move dynamically – if it splats down hard the entire leg will take the brunt of the fall and if it needs to move sideways or on a sheer cliff face like a goat it can modify its legs accordingly. I think the best way to think about this leg is as one of those expanding and contracting plastic balls made of various vertices you buy at science museums – it can shrink, grown, and handle all sorts of positioning problems in real time.