By David Ponce
I personally wrote about Boston Dynamics 6 years ago, to the day. They were announcing their work on “Big Dog”, a larger and much, much slower version of the robot we’re talking about today. It’s interesting to see just how much progress there’s been in these years. The above creation is named Cheetah, and it’s funded by DARPA as part of their M3 program (Maximum Mobility And Manipulation). It recently broke the land speed record for legged robotic machines, reaching a peak of 18 mph. The previous record was 13.9 mph and was set in 1989. It’s movement is modelled after those of fast running animals in nature and Boston Dynamics president Marc Raibert claims that in theory, Cheetah could one day achieve the speeds (70 mph) of the animal its named after, though he admits it’ll take quite some time to get there.
In the video, the robot is kept in the centre of the treadmill with a boom like device, but DARPA plans to have it run free later this year. While Cheetah itself may not have any direct real world applications just yet, it’s one more step in the development of something that the military can use in combat. So… 70 mph free running robot on the horizon… Scared yet?
Watch the video above and then try to sleep.
VIA [ CNet ]