Monday, September 10, 2012


It doesn't look anything like its namesake until you see it hurtling along the treadmill (video here). The Cheetah, a 4-legged robot developed by Boston Dynamics and funded by the U.S.'s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), was just clocked at 45.5km per hour (28.2 7mph), topping its earlier record. While it's faster than the fastest man in the world, and the fastest legged robot on earth, it doesn't run nearly as fast as the animal - but that's not the goal. DARPA program manager Gill Pratt explains:
"Modeling the robot after a cheetah is evocative and inspiring, but our goal is not to copy nature. What DARPA is doing with its robotics programs is attempting to understand and engineer into robots certain core capabilities that living organisms have refined over millennia of evolution: efficient locomotion, manipulation of objects and adaptability to environments. Cheetahs happen to be beautiful examples of how natural engineering has created speed and agility across rough terrain. Our Cheetah bot borrows ideas from nature’s design to inform stride patterns, flexing and unflexing of parts like the back, placement of limbs and stability. What we gain through Cheetah and related research efforts are technological building blocks that create possibilities for a whole range of robots suited to future Department of Defense missions.”
Today is my 49th Birthday! Time flies, 
as mentioned in these previous posts:

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