The researchers at the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are geniuses – so far they’ve invented GPS, stealth technology, and the Internet. Now they’ve made a massive step forward in robotics by developing a cheetah bot that just shattered the world speed record for legged robots!
Created by DARPA contractor Boston Dynamics, ‘Cheetah’ has broken the land speed record for a legged robot by running at a speed of 18 mph. That’s 4.9 mph faster than the former record, which was set back in 1989. The robot is named the Cheetah for obvious reasons – it was modeled on the African predator, and the team hopes that it will one day match its namesake’s ability to go from 0 to 62 mph in under 3 seconds. DARPA hope that the speedy robot will one day aid US troops in military operations.
While the record was broken on a treadmill, the DARPA team hopes to test the robot in the field as soon as possible. In a statement, Alfred Rizzi, the firm’s chief robotics scientist, said: “We plan to get off the treadmill and into the field as soon as possible. We really want to understand what is possible for fast-moving robots.” The current design is dependent on an off-board hydraulic pump, but a free-running prototype is planned for later this year. The team also hopes to make the next model capable of ‘zigzagging’ in order to aid ‘chasing and evading’.
Via BBC News