The robotic cheetah was created by a group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who managed to make it run at the speed of 10 miles/hour, being the fastest robot ever built. Although there’s a long way to go until it will be able to compete with the wild animals which can achieve 60miles/hour, the four-legged metallic robot will eventually reach up to 30 miles/hour.
The robot moves like a real animal, with its legs in tandem, making it look like it’s galloping like a wild cat after its prey. The movement, which is known as bounding, involves front legs moving together, as the back legs do the same. This type of running wasn’t easily obtained, and the researchers had to create a special algorithm which controls the force exerted by each leg when hitting the ground, and the creators of the robot needed to fully control the amount of force, in order to control the speed of the robot.
Sangbae Kim, one of the creators of the cheetah bot who works as a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, explained that the metallic feline can handle rough terrain, being able to jump over rocks or other obstacles in its way, which are more than 30 centimeters tall.
If you thought this bot is noisy, we’ll tell you that it’s exactly the opposite, thanks to the battery-powered electric motors, while other robots with four legs are equipped with gasoline engines. “The only things you hear are the feet hitting the ground. This is kind of a new paradigm where we’re controlling force in a highly dynamic situation. Any legged robot should be able to do this in the future”, added Kim.
Even the US military has tried to create a silent and quick robot, and in 2012, M3 was created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which managed to make the “Maximum Mobility and Manipulation” program behave like a human being and an animal in the same time.