Cheetah Robot Will Run Faster Than Humans

This Cheetah robot has been given the go-ahead from our friends at DARPA, who have invested so much to make our science-fictional future come true. The robot will be brought into being by Boston Dynamics, maker of the BigDog robot.


(Boston Dynamics' Cheetah Robot)

Cheetah is designed to be a four-legged robot with a flexible spine and articulated head (and potentially a tail) that runs faster than the fastest human. In addition to raw speed, Cheetah’s makers promise that it will have the agility to make tight turns so that it can “zigzag to chase and evade” and be able to stop on a dime.

Science fiction fans are probably thinking of the slamhound from William Gibson's 1986 novel Count Zero:

THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail in New Delhi, slotted it to his pheromones and the color of his hair. It caught up with him on a street called Chandni Chauk and came scrambling for his rented BMW through a forest of bare brown legs and pedicab tires. Its core was a kilogram of recrystallized hexogene and flaked TNT.

I was reminded about the Rat Thing from Neal Stephenson's 1992 novel Snow Crash as well:

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.

Via Wired; thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/25/2011)

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