Science Scope

This robot runs faster than Usain Bolt

Posting in Government

DARPAs latest running robot runs faster than any human alive, at least for a little while.

If you feel like you're always hearing about a new sprinting robot, that's because you are. This is the same robot that, just 5 months ago, set the record for robot sprinters. But now the robot isn't just beating its fellow machines. It's beating us.

Boston Dynamic's Cheetah can now run faster than Usain Bolt. That's right, the cheetah-bot clocked a cool 28.3 miles per hour over a 20 meter stretch. Bolt runs 27.7 miles per hour. Not even the fastest man in the world stands a chance. So when the robot overlords come for us, there will be no where to run.

Okay, before you build your cheetah proof shelter, you could probably still out run the thing. The press release says, "“To be fair, keep in mind that the Cheetah robot runs on a treadmill without wind drag and has an off-board power supply that it does not carry." And, as long as you don't run in a straight line, you're probably fine. But maybe think about investing in a robot hideaway, since the Cheetah's manufacturers are planning on addressing those issues.

Wired writes:

In recent months, the Cheetah team “increased the amount of power available to the robot. More power means faster motion and more margin in the actuators for better control,” Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert tells Danger Room in an email. The robot-makers have also been “working on the control system, refining how the coordination of legs and back works and developing a better understanding of the dynamics.

He adds, “You can see that there is still room for improvement at the end of the video we just posted, where the robot starts to go faster, but loses control and trips.”

So, while the cheetah might not get you yet. It will. Oh it will.

Via: New Scientist

Image: DARPA

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Rose Eveleth

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Rose Eveleth is a freelance writer, producer and designer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, OnEarth, Discover, New York Times, Story Collider and Radiolab. She holds degrees from the University of California, San Diego and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure