On Tuesday the 26th of November, Oxford Robotics Institute visited RACE to test out their ANYmal at the mobility benchmarking lanes. This is part of our RAIN collaboration to test the reliability of different mobile robots. The terrain course, consisting of three ‘lanes’, was first developed by NIST, the U.S’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. The lanes provide a standard benchmark for all small/medium  wheeled, tracked and legged robots.

Gravel

Ramps

Stepfield

This visit tested a range of existing controllers, as a baseline to evaluate methods currently in development. We tried all three lanes with varying success. The gravel pit was easy to overcome though we expected that soft granular terrain would be challenging, a short clip of ANYmal trotting in the gravel lane is here:

We further tested the robot on the ramps and the stepfield lanes. In both lanes, we faced problems with reliable terrain height estimation, so our runs there were short and unsuccessful. For our next visit we will be focusing on autonomously completing the gravel lane and deploying the path and motion planner developed within RAIN for the ramps and stepfield lanes.