Cheetah Robot which is powered by a hydraulic pump is a fast-running quadruped developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA. It just blazed past its previous speed record recorded in February at 18 mph (29 Km/h), getting up to 28.3 mph (45.5 Km/h) - about 0.5 mph faster than Usain Bolt's fastest 20 meter split.
"This version of the Cheetah Robot has a slight advantage over Bolt as it runs on a treadmill with offboard power." Darpa said in a statement, "but most of the power Cheetah used was to swing and lift its legs fast enough, not to propel iself forward."
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The agency plans to test the legged robot in the field early next year. According to Darpa the aim is to "more effectively assist war fighters across a greater range of Defense missions."
The machine's design has been inspired by the real cheetah, the fastest land animal which can reach speeds of 75 mph (121 Km/h).
"Cheetahs happen to be beautiful examples of how natural Engineering has created speed and agility across rough terrain," said Gill Pratt, Darpa programme manager.