The University of South Australia has acquired its first four-legged robot Clive (Unitree Go 1) for the Australian Research Center for Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE) in Mawson Lakes.
The $ 25,000 robot is equipped with 13 engines and fixed by multiple cameras to provide a nearly 360-degree view of the environment, and learns to recognize objects and people and ultimately understand human gestures.
Project leader Dr James Walsh, a researcher at UniSA STEM, said the project hopes the university hopes to advance research into the use of four-legged robots in a variety of fields.
“Four-legged animals like Clive are now commonly used for remote inspections by defense, space, mining and utilities companies, as well as for search and rescue operations, but we are interested in expanding its capabilities significantly,” he said. “It will prove invaluable in our augmented and virtual reality research at IVE, helping us see how Clive perceives the world and how we can use it for everyday scenarios.”
Realizing that humans respond differently to autonomous robots, the university is looking for ways for Clive to communicate with others. «[We want to ensure] it becomes less of a black box and more two-way communication between a human and a robot, ”Walsh said.
One potential application of the technology is to conduct inspections at airports where strict regulations restrict the use of drones, he said.
“For example, Clive could conduct inspections at Adelaide airport without risking being dragged into a jet engine.”