Cheetah robot ‘runs faster than Usain Bolt’

By | September 7, 2012 robot called Cheetah has set a new world speed record for legged robots, running faster than the fastest human.

The headless machine, funded by the Pentagon, reached 28.3mph (45.5km/h) when tested on a treadmill.

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s top speed is 27.78mph (44.7km/h).

The project is part of efforts to develop robots for military use. One robotics expert told the BBC that it was “unfortunate” the Cheetah was made primarily “to kill people”.

It has been created by the Massachusetts robotics company Boston Dynamics and backed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).

According to Darpa, the aim is to “more effectively assist war fighters across a greater range of missions”.

The Cheetah, which is powered by a hydraulic pump, broke its own record of 18mph (29km/h), recorded in February.

“The Cheetah had a slight advantage over Bolt as it ran on a treadmill,” Darpa said in a statement, “but most of the power Cheetah used was to swing and lift its legs fast enough, not to propel itself forward.”

The agency plans to test the robot in the field in 2013.

…Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, has mixed feelings about the development.

“It’s an incredible technical achievement, but it’s unfortunate that it’s going to be used to kill people,” he suggested.

“It’s going to be used for chasing people across the desert, I would imagine. I can’t think of many civilian applications – maybe for hunting, or farming, for rounding up sheep.

“But of course if it’s used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it’s not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers.”

via BBC News – Cheetah robot ‘runs faster than Usain Bolt’.

0 thoughts on “Cheetah robot ‘runs faster than Usain Bolt’

  1. Fred Killer

    Not much scares me these days but the idea of being hunted or chased on foot by something you can’t even attempt to reason with is the stuff of children’s nightmares.

    Mine anyway – but then, I have seen the future.

    Drones and Hunter Killers just like The Terminator either exist now or are being made, clearly.

    Stan Winston actually made real Terminator robots for T3 for God’s sake.

    When does Skynet become self-aware?

    I’ll make sure I’m not around.

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