The robot is the product of the Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
"The robot's movements are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature," stated a news release on DARPA's website . "The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does."
Powered by an off-board hydraulic pump, the robot ran on a laboratory treadmill in a demonstration. A boom-like device keeps it running in the center of the treadmill.
The military plans to test a free-running prototype later this year.