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WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered

Boston Dynamics WildCat robot can now run at 16 miles per hour untethered outside the lab. Watch the following video while putting on your running shoes.


(Boston Dynamics WildCat robot)

SF fans will no doubt recall the Rat Thing from Neal Stephenson's 1992 novel Snow Crash:

The body is Rottweiler-sized, segmented into overlapping hard plates like those of a rhinoceros. The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's. It must be the tail that makes people refer to it as a Rat Thing, because that's the only ratlike part - incredibly long and flexible.
(Read more about Stephenson's Rat Thing)

I'm also partial to the slamhound, a robotic attack dog described in the 1986 novel Count Zero by William Gibson:

THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail in New Delhi, slotted it to his pheromones and the color of his hair...
(Read more about the slamhound)

I would be derelict in my responsibility to provide you with earlier references, like the mechanical hound from Ray Bradbury's 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451:

He turned and the Mechanical Hound was there.

It was half across the lawn, coming from the shadows, moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.

It made a single last leap into the air, coming down at Montag from a good three feet over his head, its spidered legs reaching...

I guess Boston Dynamics will need to work on the engine noise from their quadruped robots...

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/7/2013)

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