Because a legged robot that can run faster than anybody but the quickest sprinters is something that should exist, DARPA and Boston Dynamics are happy to announce their new Cheetah robot can gallop at up to 18-MPH, shattering the previously record of 13.1-MPH, which was already more than fast enough to catch and kill you any day of the weak. Weak -- get it? YOU WILL SUCCUMB TO THEM.
The robot's movements are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does.
The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a laboratory treadmill where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump, and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill. Testing of a free-running prototype is planned for later this year.
Wonderful news, really. As if wheeled robots weren't enough to worry about, now we're gonna have weaponized robotic f***ing cheetahs running around. One thing's for certain: I am NOT going back to the zoo. "I thought you were already banned for yelling at all the animals to 'do it'." Ugh, I never got the sex talk growing up, okay?!
Hit the jump for a video of Cheetah getting up to speed.
Thanks to Euan, geekchic, eazie, Global and Randolph, who have already signed up for tree-climbing classes.