Check out the ¨Cheetah¨
We all know that the fastest land animal is the cheetah, capable of running up to 120 km/hr in short bursts- but has it met its match in robot form? In terms of speed, the great cat faces little competition. Nevertheless, today, no legged robot is speedier than Darpas’s new Cheetah bot which can run 30 km/hr in cheetah-like fashion.
As its name suggests, the robot’s movements imitate those of fast-running animals in nature. Just as cheetahs do, the robot accelerates and increases its stride by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step. Currently, this cheetah bot’s still stuck on a treadmill in the lab, however, testing of a free-running prototype is planned for later this year.
Cheetah has been developed under Darpa’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (MP3) Program. Instead of being focused on a specific military mission, this program generally aims to improve the scientific framework for the design and fabrication of robot systems, through new engineering approaches.You may also want to check out the European flagship initiative:Robot Companions for Citizens which also aims to develop innovative research lines of research within robotics.
If you’re a fan of animal-inspired bots, check out a seagull, penguin, and jellyfish from German robotics company Festo and for more information on innovative robotics research in Europe check out the FET Flagship initiative: Robot Companions for Citizens.