DARPA’s “Cheetah” robot sets new speed record of 18mph on treadmill

Posted: 03/06/2012 in New Technology, Robots, Sci-Fi, Suttronix Updates
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DARPA’s “Cheetahrobot sets new speed record of 18mph on treadmillBy John Timmer | Published about an hour agoBiologically inspired designs are not a new thing in robotics, but the video embedded below is the first time I’ve ever seen something that looks like it’s modeled on a family pet. Development of the Cheetah robot is being funded by DARPA, the US’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The folks at DARPA have been seing an increased military reliance on robots for disarming and disposing of explosives, so they’ve set about funding programs to improve the perforance of this hardware.Cheetah, built by Boston Dynamics, is an attempt to add some speed to robots with legs wheeled robots can already go pretty fast. It’s somewhat disorienting to watch, because it appears to be running backwards—the legs are flexed in the opposite direction from the one most animals travel, and a bit of hardware that looks like a head is actually in the rear. But one key development is actually in the robot’s body, which is able to flex as part of the stride. The end result is a top speed of about 18 miles an hour, nearly a third faster than the previous record for a robot on legs.There’s still a long way to go before we catch up to an actual cheetah, which can hit 70 miles an hour. A video of the robot is embedded below.

via DARPA’s “Cheetah” robot sets new speed record of 18mph on treadmill.

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