It gallops. It bounds. It runs faster than you can.
The WildCat four-legged robot, which you can see in action in the video above, looks straight out of the director’s cut of our planet’s robotic alien invasion.
Funded by DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program, the robot is being developed by firm Boston Dynamics and is meant to move on all types of terrain. The video shows WildCat’s best performance so far. With a loud and grating whirring sound, it achieves speeds of 16 miles per hour using bounding and galloping gaits (the top elite runners can sprint 100 meters at 15.9 miles per hour). You can also see it turn its direction pretty quickly, too.
This isn’t the first time Boston Dynamics has come up with a scary robot inspired by our lovable, cute pets. Its other robot, BigDog, in development since 2005, is now strong enough to throw cement blocks and could help troops traveling over rugged terrain who need to carry heavy loads. The company’s slogan–“changing your idea of what robots can do”–appears to be an understatement.JL