Note: Video is after the jump because I don't want the robots to get too upset and launch the apocalypse early.
In this experiment, we are evaluating the inherent robustness of MABEL's 'almost' nominal gait.
Question: How far can MABEL step down without falling? To find out, the robot goes until it falls.
She was able to handle a 2.5 inch (6.35 cm) drop off. In the end, she did not really fall. Each shin has a built in mechanical fuse that gives way when the load on the leg exceeds a threshold. This is done to avoid damage to the bearings in the hips. The experiment stopped when the fuse in MABEL's shin gave way. The resulting fall is quite spectacular, but does not damage the robot. It takes about an hour to reassemble the leg.
Wait -- why would you put its leg back on? WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?! All the king's horses and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty together again and you can slap this bitch's leg back on in an hour? That shit ain't right.
Hit it for the video. Skip to 1:50 for the good stuff (replays in slow motion right after). I'm not even gonna lie, I got a boner.
Thanks to John, who agrees stairs might prove a powerful weapon in the war against robots.