The latest in DARPA’s ever-evolving line of headless robots is this cheetah right here. Clocking in at 18 miles per hour, it’s the fastest land robot ever. Watch it go to work on that treadmill!
Cheetah comes from the same collaboration, Boston Dynamics and DARPA, that brought you BigDog and AlphaDog. They aren’t as fast, but what they lack in speed, they make up for in resilience. If you need someone—erh, some robot—to carry heavy loads across rough terrains, these robot “dogs” are the way to go.
Watch BigDog tramp through snow, get kicked, and otherwise abused—just to get up and keep going.
If speed is still what you’re after though, it’s time to leave the robot mammalian kingdom and look toward FastRunner the robot ostrich. Modeled after the fastest two-legged creature, FastRunner will run at 22 mph, faster than the cheetah. Confusingly, flesh and blood cheetahs still run faster than ostriches, which is why we have this video of cheetahs hunting down an ostrich in Africa. Robot rematch?