Saturday, April 6, 2013

Faster Than any Man Alive: Cheetah

So guys, here is a little image: you are on your morning stroll, Eye of a Tiger or something else inspirational buzzing in your headphones. Beautiful weather, sun is shining in your face, everything is great. Suddenly, you hear something strange behind you. It gets louder, faster, and worst of all, closer and closer. You don't bother to look behind you, but something causes you to turn around. You, terrified, realize that this is what was chasing you:

Yep, you are doomed.

That up there is Boston Dynamic's "Cheetah", a new robot that can run at a speed of over 28.3 miles per hour. Faster than Usain Bolt. Faster than any human alive. Oh, faster than that electric scooter of yours as well, so don't get your hopes up. The robot has an articulated back that flexes back and forth, much like fast animals do. Yes, they are mimicking animals, and they are doing a damn good job at it.

Except animals look nothing like this. Neither does Cheetah, but
that's not the point.

The project is currently in pre-beta stage, and has many fatal flaws. Cheetah can only run in a straight line on a treadmill, held by a boom, which is the only way it can maintain balance. So, you are not entirely doomed. As of now.

Now for the WildCat

The new version of the Cheetah, named the WildCat, is designed to perfomred untethered from any support device. Much like any other robot that Boston Dynamics has designed in the past, the tread-mill defiler is sponsored by DARPA and will most likely be used by United States military forces, although it will probably find some uses in the civillian world as well (pet murder machine anyone?).

*terminator jokes go here*
Field-testing on an independently upright versiob has already begun last month. I'd wish  you sweet dreams, but, you, know, I think I'll just go and take a nap in my incredible skyscraper instead.

Just kidding. Sweet Dreams.

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