Mar. 5 - A robot designed by a Boston company to mimic the cheetah has set a new speed record for running robots, reaching 18 miles (29 kilometers) per hour. The robot is the latest creation of robotics specialists Boston Dynamics, working on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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Running at speeds of up to 18 mph (29 kph), the "Cheetah" robot set a new land speed record for legged robots.
Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, the robot is modeled after the Cheetah, the fastest-running animal in nature.
DARPA has not said how the military robot will be used, but the technology it develops has a wide range of potential military applications.
The Cheetah robot has a flexible spine and is able to increase its running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step. Researchers say the current version of the robot is powered by a hydraulic pump and is attached to an extending device, which keeps it centered on the treadmill.
DARPA will test a free standing prototype later this year. Developers hope the robot will one day be able to run up to 70 mph (130 kph).
The previous record for a running robot was 13.1 mph (21 kph), set in 1989.
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