Those mad scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) won’t be happy until we are all hunted down by their creations. Working towards this goal, some of their robot animals are getting way faster than you or I can run. The latest, called Cheetah, can run at speeds up to 18 miles per hour.
This beats the 1989 legged robot speed record of 13.1 miles per hour. The bot is part of DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program, and was created by Boston Dynamics. To put things in perspective, a real flesh and blood cheetah can reach speeds up to 75 miles per hour. I’m not sure about Chester Cheetah. Thank God this robot hasn’t reached those speeds yet. However, they did use some real Cheetah tricks in making this one run.
The key was to get the coordination between the flexing of the back and the swinging of legs just right, so that the system is stable. Then they had to adjust the separation between the legs for the gallop and the pace. They also flex the robot’s back for better speed. Now imagine this thing running and chasing you down the street. This is our future. Thanks DARPA.