Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cheetah Robot Sets Speed Record: Designed to Strike Quickly, Pursue Humans, Reconnoiter

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DARPA Cheetah

Cheetah Robot Sets Speed Record: Designed to Strike Quickly, Pursue Humans, Reconnoiter

If you think being chased by a cheetah is horrific, then being chased by a faster and weaponized robotic cheetah is doom. This is assuming Petman or AlphaDog don't terminate you first. Mark our words, all the robots reported on this website will not only be refined, weaponized, and deployed by the military, but ultimately utilized by federal, state, county, and city law enforcement. Your children and grandchildren, if not you, will someday see these DARPA machines in everyday environs. One more terrifying twist, the final touch for these robots will be artificial intelligence and the ability to operate autonomously. That is, these robots will have independent decision-making ability without cables, remote control, or human handlers. Imagine a robotic cheetah with a bloodhound's sense of smell. Not sure if spreading out pepper on the ground a la Cool Hand Luke would confuse the robo-cheetah, bloodhound edition.

DARPA Cheetah Sets Speed Record for Legged Robots

This video shows a demonstration of the "Cheetah" robot galloping at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour (mph), setting a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989. The robot's movements are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does.

The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a laboratory treadmill where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump, and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill. Testing of a free-running prototype is planned for later this year. While the M3 program conducts basic research and is not focused on specific military missions, the technology it aims to develop could have a wide range of potential military applications. The DARPA M3 performer for Cheetah is Boston Dynamics of Waltham, Mass.

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