Robotic “cheetah” sets new speed record
September 6th, 2012
05:46 PM ET

Robotic “cheetah” sets new speed record

The fastest robot ever, dubbed "Cheetah," just zoomed past its own speed record and surpassed the fastest known human dash, clocking 28.3 mph during a treadmill test.

Cheetah's previous record speed was 18 mph, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military's research-and-development arm.

Usain Bolt set the world record for human speed when he reached 27.28 mph for a 20-meter split during a 100-meter sprint, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations. While reveling in the record, the research agency threw Bolt a bone, admitting the Cheetah had a slight advantage as it ran on a treadmill.

The agency has worked with Boston Dynamics on the Cheetah to create legged robots that "don't sacrifice speed for mobility on rough terrain," it said.

The high-speed running bot will be tested on natural terrain next year.

If Cheetah the bot, however, were to meet the animal it was designed after, there is no question which would win in a race.

Real cheetahs can run faster than any other land animal, regularly clocking as fast as 60 mph in short bursts. Their robotic cousin still has a way to go to beat that pace.

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Filed under: DARPA
soundoff (137 Responses)
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  3. j

    u just woke up...time for the morning poop!

    September 12, 2012 at 7:00 am | Reply
    • mufasa

      i already did man. i already pooped... in my PANTS!!!!!

      November 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  4. Matt

    Boston Dynamics......remember that name when robots take over the world......

    September 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  5. Adam

    and the point is? seems like tax dollars well spent...

    September 10, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Aaron

      I never thought I would see so much negativity in response to a tecnological advancement. Fact is, a great deal of the technologies that positively impact civilian life had their origins in the military. This particular machine is in development to assist with transporting material over uneven terrain. There are clearly civilian opportunities for that as well. Remember the exo-skeleton being developed for the military to allow individuals to move heavy items around? That is now being looked at as a possible tool to help those with paralysis regain mobility.

      It's just a bit ironic to me that people are using the Internet as the forum of choice to bash spending funds on research and new tech.

      September 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
      • Kash

        Hear hear... abs. agree. When the internet was being developed by DARPA, there were probably negative minded then too. The same people who would have probably said to Galileo "So.. you can see the stars clearer.. what are the applications for the humankind?"

        September 11, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  6. Ben

    that's it? its 2012 and thats all we have? this should have been where we were at in the 60's!

    September 10, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • awd

      what have you done with your life Ben?

      September 10, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
      • Ben

        Relevance? My point is that this little contraption is useless. We already have numerous other things that go faster, further, with self propulsion, using their own "intelligence," etc.

        September 10, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  7. Grue

    Way to go DARPA for trying to un-invent the wheel.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
  8. Laugh

    Too many unnecessary parts...get rid of some of those hoses and wires.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
  9. SlowDownUSA

    Not sure we should call it a “military” robot yet! & we should take Mother Nature’s lead with evolution. Dumb animals usually stay to the air or water. To be small & on the ground you have to be smart. I think we are about 30-50 years away from making a smart enough robot to run the ground @ 28mph. Because I can’t image trying to remote control this thing to run, look and listen. Flight is a lot easier!

    September 10, 2012 at 7:44 am | Reply
  10. Jim

    Worcestershire sauce is really good on cheeseburgers!

    September 10, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
    • Truefax

      freak.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
  11. Jorge

    Yet one more way in which the procurement meat puppets at the Pentagon fritter away our money on some useless sugar-daddy project to provide work for someone's nephew, and work orders for a you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours hardware provider, courtesy of our tax dollars.

    September 10, 2012 at 7:14 am | Reply
  12. niceness

    Killing people is not the goal of such a device. It has scientific purposes too. Defending troops in hostile territory shouldn't be confused with killing (I'm assuming you mean murder).

    September 10, 2012 at 5:25 am | Reply
  13. Sceptic1

    As a US taxpayer, if you read this and aren't infuriated, you should be. Don't buy the hype- holding the military accountable for results and return on investment on your hard-earned dollars is real patriotism. VOTE. Call your senator or representative, especially if they are on one of the service committees, and tell them to turn this kind of idiocy off. I can't think of a single time during one of my tours in Iraq where I wished for a robot cheetah on a treadmill or thought that something like this would help us move one step closer to a successful conclusion to the fighting. Get real- get involved.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:05 am | Reply
  14. AlienShark

    These killing machines and drones are a pandoras box and future generations will most likely suffer greatly for them.

    September 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • Duh

      The thing ran one of it's nuts off at mark 0:14 (flying at the camera). We'd make much more headway teaching advanced firearms to squadron's of septuagenarians on Hoverounds.

      September 10, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
    • Let It Be

      I have to agree. Today it broke it's own speed record and in 3 years the USA will have a automatic weapon strapped to the top of it sending it into combat. Then again, if it saves even one of our military personnel's lives I'm all for it.

      September 10, 2012 at 3:31 am | Reply
  15. dewed

    I love all the highly experienced controls engineers offering us their expert opinions on the matter...and how they could do better.

    September 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • focalist

      Well, since much of this research occurs in universities and small companies, it really does become a collaborative effort.

      What I find most interesting is the obvious technological look at the designs we know work- animals. Nature has been perfecting these designs for millions of years, taking time to see if good old Mother Nature has a good solution for the problem is a bit inspiring, no?

      September 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      I love how they are showcasing a machine that will be used to run down and round us up at the whim of a politician, and no one even seems to realize it.

      September 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  16. VoiceOfReason

    Running? It's connected to a pivoting arm (from behind)! Disconnect it from that -and all the umbilicals- and THEN call me. Meantime, I'll be following Honda and their ASIMO.

    September 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • nedd

      They'll call when you're ready to break out the check book. Until then you're going to be stuck complaining on internet forums.

      September 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  17. Onikami

    i wonder how long it will be before i am a human battery spending my days computing pi for the robotic overlords. seriously, my government wastes my money on this and pointless wars helping people who should be helping themselves instead of fixing problems w/ already discovered answers. do i want to bother w/ the next 40 or so years of my life just see fast robotic dogs, sorry cheetahs?

    September 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • kake79

      The mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the fire house. The dim light of one in the morning, the moonlight from the open sky framed through the great window, touched here and there on the brass and copper and the steel of the faintly trembling beast. Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber padded paws.

      September 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • MantikOre72

      Your post was made possible by this same research agency. Darpa created the internet and many other things we use in our daily lives.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  18. Roelof

    You can buy one in the store with wheels and a remote control.

    September 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  19. nate dogg

    Terminator, i robot, all happening before our very eyes.

    September 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • Acia Fakio

      I agree

      September 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  20. mind control victim

    mind control is real, it can be done remotely as well.
    from seeing what you see to moving your body and reading your thoughts.

    no one will believe me, so I'm enslaved by a government (most likely the US)

    September 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • tron777

      Try an aluminum foil hat. The homeless guy that hangs out at the liquor store swears by his.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Acia Fakio

      It all sounds great, technology and all. I only wish they could use them for the greater good. I am afraid they will advance to fight their wars for them and who knows what next to "protect and serve" Americans.

      September 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • Steve O

      If that were true, how would you be able to warn the world?
      Paradox Troll is a paradox

      September 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  21. RatThing

    Its a Rat-Thing. All it needs now is an isotope based power supply.

    September 9, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  22. oleg

    primitive.

    September 9, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
  23. Sarah

    My Mini Cooper is way faster. :shrugs:

    I mean this robot is great and a feat of engineering but the article is rather silly in the way it creates comparisons with Bolt, etc.

    September 9, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Peter

      Just a matter of clarification, Bolt is the fastest human on record but not the fastest human. In my younger years, I was known in my hometown to outrun a cheetah and a few times passed cars on the highway just for the hell of it running bursts of nearly 75 mph for short 10 second periods but I often covered a lot of ground in those 10 seconds and my hometown made sure to never let me live it down even though I was never much interested in track or fame.

      September 9, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
      • Steve O

        Peter Pan, is that you?

        September 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  24. Solitairedog

    Snaps going out to DARPA for continuing to push the envelope. They are not trying to replace dogs, or do it the "easiest way", they are inventing new techniques that will eventually be transfered to the private sector for multiple and various application. This is basically their mission and they do it very well. We pay for it and they deliver. Yea DARPA!

    September 9, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • ficheye

      They envision being able to run down bad guys on rough terrain. And kill them. 'DEFENSE advanced research projects agency'. Put a gun with a camera on that thing and it may be pretty effective. It could still be snared like an animal though, or blown up or shot. It's just another idea along the lines of a drone. An unmanned killing machine.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Yes, it can be countered. And when that happens, we've lost a machine. Not a human being. Huge plus for us.

        Not to mention the effect on morale of being hunted by something without emotions that can't be appealed to on any level. It just executes its programming.

        September 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  25. em

    now we just need a mechanical elk for it to chase..
    ..um anyways decriminalize and legalize pot people , to make up for things like this costing a lot..our deficit is big... cutting prohibition on pot costs would better help against the war on should be illegal drugs (because those are physically addictive and kill , unlike pot ). Also it would bring in billions in revenue and allow and create jobs for many people. All helping reverse this deficit ... Maybe they should make robots( in areas of unique labor or economics) that also helps reverse this deficit as well.. heh

    September 9, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
  26. Johnv

    It really doesn't matter how valuable or innovative this machine is. Frankly, we don't ahve the money for what we have now ... 16 trillion and climbing... our deficit is greater than all our defense, homeland security, and nasa combined. but hell, who cares... we are NUmber 1 in the world woohooo!!!!.... this country won't make it another 100 years at the rate that we are printing our worthless currency.

    September 9, 2012 at 12:47 am | Reply
    • Emigdio Alvarez

      it's people like you that don't appreciate how technology such as this will be useful in the near future. DARPA has created things that back then you would have claimed as a "waste in taxpayer's money." DARPA created the GPS, Passive Radar, they even created the Internet. i'd think twice about crying out "waste of money"

      September 9, 2012 at 1:22 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      "our deficit is greater than all our defense, homeland security, and nasa combined."

      Nope. Not even close. Go look up "deficit" and learn to use it correctly.

      September 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  27. F B C

    This DARPA cheetah is not carrying its own powersource. Nevertheless well done for achieving this milestone!!

    September 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  28. bill

    So what happens if the stabilizer holding up the entire machine is removed. Bet it crashes.
    Nice motion though. Now you need to gyro stabilize on 3 axis. Great start.

    September 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  29. David B

    It would easier to do this with wheels and a solid state gyroscope.

    September 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      @David B, wheels can't navigate rough and irregular terrain, which is the purpose of these robots. Look up Boston Dynamics Big Dog robot on YouTube.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • Nodack

      I guess they should have hired you instead and you could have locked their problem in only a couple of minutes Einstein.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Joe M.

      Yes, wheels would be much better for 95% of required movement with deployable legs to assist the vehicle over the rough spots. Then the legs are retracted when there are more level smoother surfaces to travel over. The legs could also be arranged along the rims of larger wheels – wheels with retractable legs.

      September 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • Joe M.

        I am an engineer.

        September 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • focalist

      You are kind of missing the point. What's being shown here is a machine that is "running", which when you look at it from a movement standpoint, is an incredibly complex series of actions... but the result is a movement which is still pretty stable and sustainable, even across uneven ground or whatever else. Wheels, tracks and that sort of thing all have their drawbacks for this type of thing. What they are doing is recreating what nature has perfected, in an effort to learn more about the method of locomotion. There are tasks that still must be done via horse for example, because of their ability to handle changing, uneven surfaces. A mechanical "horse" that could handle mud, striding through a river's current, sand.. the value would be immense, and not just for war machines.

      The point is not that the device is or isn't self powered, that is not what is being researched. It's the motion itself, a machine capable of quadraped gait on uneven surfaces could open up many areas which are otherwise nearly inaccessable.

      September 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • USA best

      Gotta love the fake engineers making obvious suggestions.

      September 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • USA best

      Put wheels on it.... I'm an engineer I swear..

      lolololololol stupid people.. but more likely propagandists.. should not post.

      September 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  30. geff

    How's it going to work in the dirt? Read the report by Lt. Col. Danial Davis,
    Dereliction of Duty II:
    Senior Military Leaders’ Loss of Integrity Wounds
    Afghan War Effort
    27 January 2012

    Starting on page 41 Lt. Col. Davis, a seventeen year army veteran and four tours of duty (two in Afghanistan), describes the dismal failure of the FCS (Future Combat Systems) and the waste of billions of taxpayer money. This helps us understand why the United States spends ten times what Russia does on defense.
    Our congressmen and women are fed lies about the success, efficacy, applicability and durability of these systems, and their related equipment and hardware. The waste of money means taxpayers pay more, and our service men and women will have to work without the equipment that is proven in actual warfare.

    September 8, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • jeremyhornephd

      Let me add to your astute post, geff. Consider the millions of dollars spent by the War Department on contractors to re-invent the wheel, such as building a target control system at White Sands Missile Range (on which I worked) consisting of UAVs driven by a system that could be replaced by commercial off the shelf (COTS), as in On-Star, Qualcom, Agro, and others, systems that are significantly more advanced. This says nothing about the fact that numerous DoD systems are not validated, despite JITC and Clinger-Cohen Act mandates. Yes, the Military-Industrial Complex, which Ike warned us about thrives and is sucking the U.S. dry, while there STILL is no health care, re-building of infrastructure, joblessness, etc., ad nauseum. I went to three senators in person on this with extensive data, and all turned a deaf ear, evidencing the deep corruption in the U.S. regime.

      September 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Your case and veracity are weakened considerably by your inability to put together a proper, coherent sentence.

        September 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  31. Buzz

    Heck, Steve Austin went that fast back in the '70s, and only cost six million dollars

    September 8, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • Dale

      True, but he had to lose 2 legs, a arm and a eye before he could run that fast.

      September 9, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  32. Highlander

    This is just a prototype, if you want to see how fully developed versions function in rough terrain & climate conditions search for big dog in you tube another robot from the same company and its quite amazing what they were able to do.
    These machines have real military value

    September 8, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
  33. Centrist

    Put teeth on it and program it to bite. I will put one in my house to chase robbers. or Send it on the battlefield to jump into trenches and chase the retreating Iranians when battle begins.

    September 8, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
  34. KMF

    I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

    September 8, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
  35. GonzoinHouston

    I'm picturing one of these in the Westminster Dog Show. The wonderful thing about DARPA is that it gathers top people together for a couple of years and lets them work on just about anything. Yeah, they spend a lot of money and time on things that ultimately don't work or aren't useful, but in the process they come up with such things as DARPANET, which became the internet, and the GPS system.

    September 8, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
  36. pete

    We pay for it and perfect it...it becomes an incredible weapons platform after years and years of developement...then the chinese steal it or capture one and then mass produces them for use in manufacturing and working in factories freeing up millions and millions to fight us in needless wars of aggression,

    September 8, 2012 at 7:52 am | Reply
    • focalist

      Number one- already developed, and it's CIVILIANS. This is a DARPA project, you really ought to look at what DARPA is and how it works. This is tax dollars being spent intelligently. No better tech incubator in the world.

      Number two- you obviously have no military background. Transport and logistics.. getting needed items from A to B, in rough terrain- that is what MOST military hardware is for. Weapons make up a SMALL portion. Feeding and moving an army is FAR harder than killing one. Getting to injured, transporting supplies- that is what this type of device is for.

      Number three- the movement dynamics research for this applies to MANY things, including such things as designs for artificial human joints like knees and hips- common human faliure points.

      Number four- DARPA and this project are a "me too" effort, when it comes to robotics platforms, universities and even hobbyists are often far in the lead of the military, who prefer "mature" technologies. These universities and hobbyists are worldwide, and the tech is PUBLISHED in most cases. This is called Open Source or Collaborative Technology.

      Number five- the boogie man is gonna get you.

      September 8, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
  37. Andrew

    Great. Now just give them some claws and mass produce them and we can call them Zerglings.

    September 8, 2012 at 12:13 am | Reply
  38. choddyroma

    program 1 million of these to destroy muslems. We do not want them to convert. If they want to save themselves they only have to leave free nations and go home to their idiotic beading belifes!!

    September 7, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Reply
    • PR

      Program 1 million robots to ... whatever? I'd settle for someone who could teach you how to spell and then to appreciate an engineering feat for what it is rather than to see it as a tool for your narrow-minded redneck beliefs ... B .. E ... L... I... E... F .. S
      .. Now, repeat after me .. B .. E .. L ... I ... E .. F ... S ..

      Go home and be a good boy...

      September 8, 2012 at 12:00 am | Reply
      • fatboy91

        damn son you schooled him...haha or her

        September 8, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • SixDegrees

      How would it tell the difference between Muslims and fundamentalist Christians? Not that such a failure should prevent deployment.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
      • atdouglas

        like

        September 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  39. wavejump1100

    so if it had wheels or wings it wouldnt be a robot? isnt a predetor drone a robot?

    September 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  40. Wilder Napalm

    To any doubters I say give them 10 years and we may have something running around the battlefield with lasers and 1kt nukes LMAO!

    September 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
    • brandon

      everything is designed for the military machine. all we want to do is create me creative ways of destroying ourselves. our world is so screwed up and full of bull sh@#.

      September 8, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
      • focalist

        Huh, amazing considering the most recent "new" form of transport is the Segway, created by a civilian company. Henry Ford created the Model A for civilians, engines were considered too noisy for military use in most cases.
        Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, was a university teacher.

        Do you spend a lot of time building windmills to tilt at?

        September 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  41. Farrad02

    Reminds me of that dog-looking robot in that Mars movie with Val Kilmer!

    September 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  42. John Connor

    SKYNET is taking care of us, no worries ...

    September 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • I'll be back

      Totally Skynet. That thing is gonna be chasing me around deserted cities one day.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:57 am | Reply
  43. Ken

    No record here. The thing needs to do it in Utah on the salt flats without balance assistance before it break any record.

    September 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • mikinaz

      "The high-speed running bot will be tested on natural terrain next year."

      September 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  44. will

    A wast of $

    September 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Emigdio Alvarez

      they said the same thing about the Apollo Program.

      September 9, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
  45. Oscar Pitchfork

    OKAY, WANNA HEAR THE PUNCHLINE? IT'S ON A TETHER, RUNNING ON AC POWER FROM A REGULAR ELECTRICAL PANEL! THEY BETTER HAVE A LONG CORD, OR THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO START ENGINEERING FROM SCRATCH, USING WHATEVER BATTERY IT CAN CARRY (AND YEAH, MORE BATTERY MEANS IT WON'T RUN AS FAST) AND A DC MOTOR THAT WILL CERTAINLY NOT BE AS POWERFUL AS THE AC ONE. GEE WHAT A POINTLESS EFFORT...

    September 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • mikinaz

      not pointless...you never know what comes out of these advancements or how the technology will be put to use. The first few attempts to produce plastic explosives brought us silly putty...and a military project to figure out how to coat missile parts gave us the process for coating ball point pens so they roll smoothly. 1 step at a time

      September 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • daveogilvy

      you've completely missed the point. this test wasn't about power supplies, it was about testing the mechanics of a four legged robot at speed.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • arixskyfire

      All they gotta do is get it to carry 100 lbs. – Put SHARP claws on it and get it to be able to leap long distances and it will be the forerunner of "AMEE" in the Val kilmer movie "Red Planet"

      September 8, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
    • MajPain

      Yeah because those huge computers full of vacuum tubes that took up an entire room didnt result in anything either. What a pointless efffort that was. Genius.

      September 8, 2012 at 5:57 am | Reply
  46. Robert

    I saw these things on the 1984 movie "Runaway" with Tom Seleck.

    September 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  47. Ted

    Can it cure cancer or aids?

    September 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • focalist

      As a matter of fact, YES. Robotics is already an integral tool for surgeons, particularly surgeons working on removal of tumors from healthy tissue. A robotic arm weilding a laser cautery or scalpel is many times more accurate and safe for the patient than an all-too-unsteady human hand. Artifical organs ranging from hearts to pancreas are intelligent robotic devices controlled by an internal computer. What is being learned in one aspect of robotics and kinesthetics is applicable in others. Diagnostic machinery, like the RIA equipment which performs HIV testing, is purely robotic, performing the tests and recording the results many times more accurately and quickly than a human hand at the end of a double laboratory shift. Implantable pacemakers, robotic EMT's inserted to stabilize heart patients- they save thousands of lives a year. Sequencing of the enzymes and amino acids looking for a cure for many diseases is performed by robotic lab equipment. SkyNet is your friend, folks!

      September 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  48. Rasputin

    It should also be able to hunt like a Cheetah. Then we have something .... hee hee hee.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • Andy

      What do you think it is being designed if not the military. Once that cheetah is evolved, armored and armed, it will be a scary warrior.

      September 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  49. focalist

    Actually, that Gyrocopter you refer to was jointly designed and built (and the full plans are online) by a group of hobbyists who have interest in Aeronautics and Microcontrollers. I design and build microcontroller devices as a hobby, ranging from camera triggers for capturing stop-motion of fleeting events to a homebuilt CNC router, using the same platform that was used in several of these UAV designs.. a platform called Arduino, an open-source public project designed to simplify application of advanced hardware and make it more accessible to students, artists, and hobbyists. The Arduino platform has gained such popularity at this point that Radio Shack now carries starter kits, ranging as low as forty dollars. Think of it as Smart Legos.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • focalist

      Oh, and the majority of the hobbyists and students involved are from the USA, Britain, Norway and Italy... though contributions and refinements have come from every corner of the globe. The fact of the matter is that currently, there are several UAV platforms out there built and published by hobbyists that far outperform any current military UAV, the military's programs are a "me too" not an innovation center. This is why DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration) turns to universities and the public now, rather than to their own "innovation labs" in most cases.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  50. Thomas Avatarici

    OK. but my lawn mower won't start.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  51. JWCJ

    I acually have two viewpoints as to this robot. First I can see it's value as far as a recon operator for our servicemen.
    And using it for giant leaps in the field of medicine by aiding those who have lost limbs. But then I am one of those people who think space expolration is a waste of time and money. We will never be able to colonize another planet in this solar system so why even spend money on it. And as far as exploiting minerals from other planets that should be left up to the private sector if they want to be able to capitolize on any metals of value in the future. Why should we the taxpayers be spending all the money on space exploration and then let the capitolists capitolize later ?

    September 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • CP in FL

      JWCJ – Many of the things you use in everyday life come from the space program including advancements in computers. One day the human race will need to colonize other planets if we wish to survive as a species. Try not to be so small minded in the future.

      September 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
      • focalist

        That includes the Internet. DARPA's data communication network, ARPAnet, was merged with several networks maintained by several universities and companies, most notably Digital Equipment Corp. This merging of the networks and the demilitarizaton of the ARPAnet infrastructure was in fact greatly facilitated by none other than Al Gore, which is the basis for his remark about being a pivotal part in the creation of the Internet. People derided the man for what will be remembered as the largest advance in human history, the Internet- open sharing of communications worldwide with no centralized control, the ultimate expression of intellectual freedom.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  52. Sean

    I wonder if we'll ever get to Metal Gear-like devices...

    September 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  53. Reality Check

    It's based on Pneuematics not hydraulics. And obviously being supplied by a large screw compressor behind that big curtain! No compresser and it's just a pile of junk. Let's see how fast it runs with a 1 ton compressor sitting on it's back not to mention the power supply for it.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • guest

      agreed

      September 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • Some guy who knows more than you

      You are very wrong Reality Check. Its Hydraulic.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  54. MMB

    Does this remind anyone else of the Terminator movies? Don't make the machines too powerful! hehe.

    September 7, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Gene Simmons

      I hope Chinese people can run fast... ..

      September 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  55. Joe

    You lack imagination if you are asking what this could be used for :)

    Imagine this fast robot running supplies to troops who are pinned down or need to stay put for whatever reason. Robots are faster and stronger than humans and do not get tired or scared. They don't have loved ones getting horrible news if they get shot or blown up. These type of legs can go places that wheels can't go and they do it on less gas than something like a tank or huge armored suv type vehicle. There are quite a few things that troops do right now that should definitely be done by robots as soon as it is possible. DARPA knows this well which is why they are funding it.

    September 7, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • Dan

      Or imagine using it to traverse the terrain on Mars, or the Moon. The reality is, the possibilities go well beyond military use. The knowledge gained is applicable to far more than just military use.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • bigbendjc

      Fine, but what if it decided to switch sides??????

      September 7, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • USA best

        lol. Keep dreaming that our robots will switch sides. they are coming for you.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • Del Knudson

        You can always tell if they are coming for you, because they will be riding in black helicopters. ;-)

        September 8, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • ersmith

      they do aquire hydraulic leaks and lack a will to live.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  56. Dick Cheney

    This still won't help me shoot straight!!!!

    September 7, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • Dan

      Sure it will. With practice shooting at it your aim is going to improve. Problem is it looks stringy...not much meat on it's bones.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  57. Nighthhaawk

    Why the heck are we developing stuff like this when we could be spending it on manned space exploration?

    September 7, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Watch Red Planet and get back to us.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • Thinkpls

      Because space is useless and offers nothing but an endless money waster. People think space offers something important(what exactly) but science shows that its a waste of money.

      Robots on the other hand, these will revolutionize. These will be made to fight fires and do jobs humans have slight dangers doing. These are far more important then trying and hoping to find something useful in space.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
      • Nighthhaawk

        Space is not useless and to be honest , I will withdraw my knee-jerk statement, this robot could be the predecessor of a robotic planet explorer. There are great possibilites to be had from space, like mining asteroids and not strip-mining our planet. Keep the by products of heavy natural resource gathering to the vacuum of space and stop polluting and poisoning our planet from the same processes. I have too many memories of VietNam and the waste of human life when we just kept putting more money and hardware into killing each other over anachonistic ideals. i will always back science and reasearch for positive things, like understanding our planet and our universe – rather than using the same technology to kill each other.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:13 am |
      • Dan

        Get real. "Science shows that it's a waste of money"? That's ridiculous, talk about a Pseudo-scientific statement. Every mission into space we perform leads us closer to the real objectives of first being able to harvest the useful ores and minerals there, and second, it puts us closer to colonizing other rocks. All species are driven by one single factor. Propogation. There is no other purpose for any creature but to propogate. Logic dictates that we send our seed elsewhere to both further our knowledge, and to help ensure long term survival.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • dbriers

        Space Exploration is one of the most useful ventures known to man! Much robotic technology is developed for "not always popular" programs like space exploration and armed warfare. Space exploration is a multidisciplinary field that needs biologist, mathematics, engineers, and computer programmers. Not many places can bring such a wide array of great mind together to work on a common goal. That goal may be robots, telescopes, or something else. For example algorithms used by the Hubble telescope to sharpen fuzzy images was used by a cancer doctor to improve mammograms. There are many more examples!

        September 7, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • ken

        You must not watch real science shows. The Earth is going to die some day and habitating another planet is the only way mankind will survive.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • You

        Thinkpls: I'm going to be honest, I find your name ironic because you have made a very ignorant and uneducated statement. Without the space program we would not have communication satellite, weather satellites, or satellites which help us understand our planet and the various natural disasters we might face. Without the space program we would not have a variety of materials which have improved the quality of human life, and without the space program we would not have the understanding of our world that we do. It is societies in this world that continue to break the boundaries of the unknown that become advanced societies. Do you see those subsistence farmers in Africa who live in mud huts and farm without irrigation systems? Who still suffer from treatable disorders? Those particular individuals (I am not talking about all Africans) are the descendants of people who did not see the value in exploring the unknown or trying new things. People who saw now point in seeking out new, more hospitable lands. People who saw no point in building irrigation systems. People who saw no point in investing any resources or energy in doing anything different than what they were doing, and look at where their descendants are today. Still living in mud huts, subsistence farming, dying if diseases not found in the developed world, and praying for rain.

        September 8, 2012 at 3:35 am |
  58. wasso

    and india is working on a supersonic beanie propelled by head wobbles

    September 7, 2012 at 5:42 am | Reply
  59. sam

    One more weapon to kill more people. Now we see where all our hard earned tax money goes! This is revolting!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You’re an idiot. Have you any idea how much modern technology is derived from military projects like this?

      September 7, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Guest

      Guess Sam would rather return to the stone age and bang two rocks together to make fire instead of living in the modern age. No one's stopping you. Just go for a long camping trip and don't come back, genius.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • Thinkpls

      This robot will run you down and then run some more. DEATH TO YOU NON RUNNERS.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • Dan

        No, I'll just lay in wait and kill it as it is running. Then I'll put it's ears on a necklace.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • ken

      Killing people is not the goal of such a device. It has scientific purposes too. Defending troops in hostile territory shouldn't be confused with killing (I'm assuming you mean murder).

      September 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  60. saeed

    and china has developed a mind controled gyrocopter.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • Nighthhaawk

      ...and I admit .. I guess even China has positive thinkers ( to control their gyrocopters!).

      September 7, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • USA best

      lol.. good luck with Chinese junk

      September 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply

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