By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Running robots are being let off the leash, as the WildCat – created by Boston Dynamics – gallops across the asphalt at an incredible 16 miles per hour!
Last year, its Cheetah robot cousin was able to hit 28 mph on a treadmill, but the WildCat can actually run around freely in the open.
The robot is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who’s hoping to use it for military purposes.
DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program, according to their website, was created because, “Robots hold great promise for amplifying human effectiveness in Defense operations. Compared to human beings and animals, however, the mobility and manipulation capability of present day robots is poor.”
In other words, it’s not easy making mechanical beings that can move like living creatures!
It’s also very expensive to make these robo beasts, and DARPA explains that their M3 program hopes to take this challenge head on: “In addition, design and manufacturing of current robotic systems are time consuming, and fabrication costs remain high. If these limitations were overcome, robots could assist in the execution of military operations far more effectively across a far greater range of missions.”
So, while DARPA recognizes the current limits that robots have when it comes to moving naturally and costing tons of money to make, they’re hoping to advance the field of mobile bots with M3 research.
Images courtesy of Boston Dynamics.