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“Cheetahs,” Designed and Undesigned. Or So They Say.

Kudos to the engineers funded by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) who have set a speed record with their latest robot design, called Cheetah, which has now been clocked galloping at 18 miles per hour. The Boston Globe reports:

Cheetah follows other Boston Dynamic prototype designs with potential military and civilian uses, including the pack robot BigDog and Petman, a machine resembling a human figure that will be used to test clothing designed to protect soldiers from chemical warfare agents.
Although Cheetah is a research platform, potential uses include emergency rescue and disaster response, particularly over rough terrain, according to Boston Dynamics.
The Cheetah is designed to go even faster as development continues, according to [Boston Dynamics president Marc] Raibert.

Nice! The kind of cheetah found in nature — you know, the “undesigned” one, they live in Africa — goes up to 75 mph, with an acceleration of 0 to 62 in 3 seconds.