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Published on Aug 6, 2012
This video shows a clay "wrecking ball" striking the MIT Cheetah in two different cases. In the frame on the left the tail is held fixed in place with a stiff proportional control. In the frame on the right the tail is swung immediately following the collision of the "wrecking ball," thus stopping the movement of the body and temporarily maintaining stability. The experiment demonstrated that swinging a tail-like inertia can transfer momentum away from the body after a disturbance and can help the robot maintain stability long enough to plan appropriate foot placements.