News

Robo Cheetah breaks record

If you were to believe everything in Doctor Who (and who doesn't?), you'd know that while robots don't move quickly, they're still pretty deadly (see Cybermen). Then again, this is the real world and these rules don't apply.

A robot known as the Cheetah has set a new land speed record for legged machines, running at 18mph on a treadmill.

As part of a programme aimed at achieving theoretical and experimental advances in the science of robotics, the Cheetah project has received funding from the US military's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

It broke a land speed record for legged robots that was set in 1989 when a two-legged robot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ran at a speed of just over 13mph. Developers Boston Dynamics said the record was clocked at a laboratory in Massachusetts.

Dr Alfred Rizzi, chief robotics scientist at Boston Dynamics, said the aim is ultimately to get the Cheetah running much faster and in an outdoors environment.

"We designed the treadmill to go over 50mph but we plan to get off the treadmill and into the field as soon as possible.

"We really want to understand the limits of what is possible for fast-moving robots."

Sure, it looks a bit ridiculous but it's much faster than a Dalek.