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Robo-ostrich to become laughing stock of robot world

DARPA plans 27mph mechanic bird

Robo-ostrich to become laughing stock of robot world
Danielle de Wolfe
21 November 2011

A joint project by DARPA, the U.S. Defense department's research arm, MIT and the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) should result in a real-life Terminator. Not so...

The geniuses above are building a robot ostrich instead. The IHMC say: "FastRunner will be a fast, efficient, and dynamic bipedal platform capable of traversing moderately rough terrain as fast as the best human sprinters. FastRunner will incorporate a novel leg design, which we have already demonstrated with several prototypes developed at IHMC. This leg design will enable FastRunner to achieve unprecedented efficiency and speed while being self-stabilizing."

That's all well and good, but look at it. It's going to get bullied all to hell.

The Florida robotics group say it's built one leg of the robot ostrich and has been running computer models that show it can reach speeds of 20 miles per hour within 15 seconds of the starting block. Its likely top speed, according to a researcher on the project, is 27 mph, the same as Usain Bolt.

Expect an actual working prototype of the robo-bird by 2013, said Sebastien Cotton, a research scientist with IHMC in Florida. Expect it to top itself by 2014.