DARPA's latest robotic invention is the fastest thing on mechanical legs.
DARPA, the wing of the Pentagon responsible for researching crazy new technology, has once again created something incredibly amazing and slightly horrifying at the same time. Its latest invention is a robot designed after the worlds fastest land animal, the Cheetah, and is capable of reaching speeds close to 18 miles per hour.
Built by Boston Dynamics, the Cheetah robot is so fast that its top speed sets a new land speed record in the not-so-famous sport of robotic track and field, a record DARPA claims has not been broken since 1989. And while 18 miles per hour may not sound too impressive at first, in comparison, the average human can run about 14 mph (give or take a few miles), and the fastest human alive, Usain Bolt, was once clocked sprinting at nearly 28 mph in 2009.
DARPA's kept quiet over what kind of military or civilian applications the Cheetah bot's being designed for, but believes that its high speeds and flexible design would make it ideal for "emergency response, firefighting, advanced agriculture and vehicular travel. Though, to be honest, I'm unsure how exactly a lightning-fast Cheetah killbot would be useful in farming corn.
DARPA's next plan for this impressive piece of technology will be a "free-running" exercise to see how well the Cheetah 'bot will do untethered and on more open ground.