Headless ‘cheetah bot’ breaks human and robot speed records

By David Ferguson
Saturday, September 8, 2012 12:03 EDT
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Cheetah bot runs on mechanical track
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Are we the only ones who are a little creeped out by this headless robot cheetah that can run 28.3 miles per hour?

According to PC Mag, the 4-legged robot was created by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which based its design on real cheetahs, which are the fastest land animal, clocking in at top speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. While DARPA’s robot cheetah can only approach about half that speed, it still outruns the fastest human run ever recorded, Usain Bolt’s 2009 record of 27.78 mph on a 20-meter split.

DARPA told PC that robots with legs can maneuver in terrain that robots moving on treads or wheels simply can’t. “The most difficult terrain demands the use of legs, as legs can step over both high obstacles and deep ditches,” a DARPA spokesperson said. “But coordinating the swing and lift of mechanical legs is more difficult than making wheels turn or tracks roll, and previous legged robots have been slow compared to wheeled or tracked ones.”

Watch a clip of the “cheetah bot” running on a treadmill, embedded via YouTube, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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