Robo-dog sets new 100-meter sprint Guinness World Record
A four-legged robotic dog called HOUND has demonstrated an unprecedented level of agility and speed, clocking the fastest 100-meter dash ever achieved by a quadruped robot and setting a new Guinness World Record in the process.
The robo-dog was designed and made by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (KAIST) Dynamic Robot Control and Design Laboratory. Starting from a stationary position, the 99-lb (45-kg) dog-bot ran the 100 meters at an average speed of 11.26 mph (18.12 km/h), covering the distance in 19.87 seconds.
HOUND is designed for high-speed movement. In addition to a 3-m/s (6.7-mph) running trot, it can traverse over grass, walk long distances and climb a 22° slope. Its abilities are a result of its optimized mechanical design, especially the motor controller and gear configuration.
“Instantaneous and steady performance are important characteristics when deciding a motor for dynamic legged locomotion,” Young-Ha Shin, the bot’s designer, said to Guinness World Records.
The hip and knee actuator modules are one piece in a parallel configuration, with a hollow shaft used to transmit power to the joints. For the knee joint, a belt-pulley system provides a comprehensive range of movement. HOUND’s developers chose a planetary gearbox system due to its high power transmission efficiency. The robot underwent advanced simulation techniques using reinforcement training, a data-driven approach to learning optimal intelligent behaviors through trial and error.
“All of these movements were achieved with a single [motor] controller trained in the simulation through reinforcement training,” Shin said. “In order to push the limits of the actuator, motor characteristics were incorporated into the simulation to make the environment as close to the real world as possible.”
HOUND isn’t the first robot to take out a speed record. In 2012, DARPA’s Cheetah robot – also a quadruped – set a new robotic land speed record of 28.3 mph (45.5 km/h) for a 20-meter (65.6-ft) split, beating Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s top speed of 27.78 mph. Then, in 2022, Cassie, developed by Agility Robotics, set the Guinness World Record for the fastest bipedal bot, completing a 100-meter dash in 24.73 seconds.
Regardless of its record-breaking abilities, HOUND still has a way to go to match Bolt’s 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds, which he set in 2009. The below video, produced by Guinness World Records, shows HOUND in action.