Daily Archives: March 6, 2012

iCheetah

Created by Boston Dynamics, Cheetah is now the fastest legged robot on the planet.  The video below was released by DARPA today.

OK.  So it looks like it’s running backwards, but a top speed of 18 mph is pretty good.  It doesn’t match a cheetah’s 70 mph, but it could probably outrun you.  The fastest human currently on record, Usain St. Leo Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter, can run 23.35 mph … for 100 meters.

Why not use wheels?  It could go a lot faster than 18 mph.  Legged robots handle some off-road terrain better. Research into making four-legged robots faster has the potential of developing better prosthetics for amputees, right?  Well, prosthetics for canines.

But it’s built by DARPA.  (Somebody commented, “Built by people who never saw The Matrix nor Terminator.”)  DARPA… they don’t make toys.  This isn’t the next contender for “Tickle Me Elmo” and you won’t find it next to the Barbie doll isle.  And DARPA isn’t a branch of the Veteran’s Administration researching better prosthetics.  Ever see the Boston Dynamics BigDog robot? Creepy.  It still gives me nightmares.  This is war craft.

Part of me says “cool!”  Another part says, “yikes!”

See Death Has No Shadow for more scary-cool-military-mechs in action.