This little dog is amazing. I just wanted to get that out of the way first off, most of the time, if you see a robot that can handle rough terrain, its because it has tank treads, not this little dog.
No, this dog uses legs. There are three motors in each leg, and sensors enough to track the angle of all of the joints of each of the legs.
One of the cooler ideas this dog uses, is instead of tracking where the legs are, even though it does that too, in order to choose its path of movement it sets forth, and adjusts a pattern of movement that keeps the center of gravity in line with a stable trajectory. That’s a totally different approach of what I would have come up with, I would have just matched the pattern of the terrain and then moved the legs and then done my best to keep it from tipping, this design goes about it the other way, the primary concern is balance, and then movement.
Clever robot dog navigates rough terrain [via gadgettastic]