Tuesday, March 6, 2012

DARPA 'Cheetah' Robot Can Run Faster Than You

(EndPlay Staff Reports) - Looking like a four-legged "Star Wars" creature, the Pentagon's "Cheetah" robot can gallop up to 18 mph, a land speed record for legged robots.

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.

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