The University of South Australia has introduced Clive, a four-legged robot described as “flexible” and “energetic”. In other words, he’s a good boi.
Clive is UniSA’s first off-the-shelf quadruped robot. The uni said the bot is flexible, agile, versatile, energetic, and communicative. Clive is an autonomous robot tethered to advance research in several areas.
Here he is in action:
Watch the last 10 seconds of that video; it’s my favorite part.
Clive consists of about 13 motors and cameras on the front of his face, under his chin, both sides of his body, and below, giving the bot an almost 360-degree view. Clive can act completely autonomously or under human control.
It can go up and down and can handle deep terrain. Clive can change his height so he can fall, crawl across the floor, return to normal size, and go back to walking or running speed. It costs a cool $25,000 and weighs about 13kg.
Clive is very similar to Spot, the four-legged robot from Boston Dynamics. The spot is usually compared to a dog because of his size and how he walks on four legs. His mannerisms can truly be compared to a dog’s.
The spot has several jobs, from burning fires to working in Australian mines. But recently, Spot took on an appearance as a guard in Pompeii, protecting the remains and keeping an eye out for relic hunters.
UniSA expects Clive to have a similar role.
According to Clive’s mentor, Dr. James Walsh, one of the big areas where Clive can be used is remote inspection – anywhere it’s too dangerous to send a human, like a collapsed building, a fire, or even a war zone.
“Quadrupeds like Clive are now commonly used for remote inspections by the defense, aerospace, mining, and utility companies, and search and rescue, but we are interested in taking its capabilities much further,” said Walsh.
“He 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 that for everyday scenarios.”
Walsh wants to use Clive to remove the “creepy” stigma that canine four-legged friends have.
“People react differently to four-legged friends like Clive. Some people find him aggressive because they don’t know how he sees or perceives them, as he can act autonomously,” he added.
“We want to find a way for Clive to interact with the people around him so that he becomes less of a black box and more of a two-way human-robot communication.”
Clive lives at the University’s Australian Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE) Research Center in Mawson Lakes.