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Robotic Cheetah Sets New Robot Land Speed Record
By Syafiqah Omar, 07 Mar 2012
A cheetah robot created by robotics company Boston Dynamics and funded by the US military has broken the land speed record while running on a lab treadmill.
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) said the four-legged machine achieved 18mph (29km/h) on a laboratory treadmill, a speed faster than the average human jogger.
The previous record was 13.1mph, set in 1989.
The robotic cheetah is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump and mimics the movement of the real animal by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step.
The test marks an early milestone for the US military which aims to create more mobile robots capable of going where legged human soldiers can go.
The project develops robots designed to "more effectively assist war fighters across a greater range of missions".
The researchers hope to test a free-running prototype sometime later this year.
"We plan to get off the treadmill and into the field as soon as possible," said the firm's chief robotics scientist, Alfred Rizzi.
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