Home Front Page Four-legged robot Cheetah set a new world speed record

Four-legged robot Cheetah set a new world speed record

Cheetah, a four-legged and headless robot, has set a new world speed record, according to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

DARPA said Cheetah achieved 18 mph (29 km/h) on a laboratory treadmill and the previous land speed record by a legged robot was 13.1 mph.

The agency said that the project was part of efforts to develop robots designed to “more effectively assist war fighters across a greater range of missions”.


DARPA – which is run by the Pentagon – funded the Massachusetts robotics company Boston Dynamics to build the machine.

“We plan to get off the treadmill and into the field as soon as possible,” said the firm’s chief robotics scientist, Alfred Rizzi, in a statement.

“We really want to understand what is possible for fast-moving robots.”

Cheetah, a four-legged and headless robot, has set a new world speed record, according to DARPA

Cheetah, a four-legged and headless robot, has set a new world speed record, according to DARPA

The robot’s movements have been modeled on those of fast-running animals in the wild. The machine is designed to flex and un-flex its back to increase the length of its stride.

The current version of Cheetah is dependent on an off-board hydraulic pump, requiring one of the researchers to hold the tubing out of its way. However, the researchers said a free-running prototype was planned for later this year.

The four-year project, which was commissioned in February 2011, ultimately aims to deliver a robot which can “zigzag to chase and evade”, and be able to come to an abrupt halt.

It builds on other models based on animals created by Boston Dynamics including its BigDog rough-terrain robot, designed to recycle energy from one step to the next, and its lizard-like Rise, which can climb walls, trees and fences by using micro-claws on its six feet and a tail for balance.

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James is a professor in Science. His writing skills brought him to BelleNews. He enjoys writing articles for the Science and Technology category. James often finds himself reading about the latest gadgets as the topic is very appealing to him. He likes reading and listening to classical music.