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Tempting Fate: MIT’s Robot Cheetah Can Now Run Without Cables, Leashes, Fatigue, or Mercy

You can run, but you can't hide. Nope, you're just doomed.

Robots do amazing things for us. They take boring repetitive jobs, move heavy objects, and even snark at each other on cellphone commercials. They also do horrifying things like laser our limbs off before we can even feel it and chase us down like we’re antelope on the African plains, and MIT has now enabled their Cheetah-inspired, four-legged robot to run and leap all on its own. When the Terminator comes for you, it’ll need your clothes and your boots, but not your motorcycle.

The “Wildcat” robot ran on its own before, but it was packing a bulky internal combustion engine and emitted a telling buzzing sound. The new cheetah bot is all-electric, which makes it a lot quieter for sneaking up on unsuspecting meatbags.

Right now, the bot can only run untethered at about 10 mph—much lower than Olympian Usain Bolt’s maximum speed of around 30 mph. However, MIT’s researchers are working on giving the cheetah bot the one thing humans possess that real cheetahs don’t: endurance. Human beings are perhaps the greatest distance runners on the planet, but MIT is hard at working making sure the untethered cheetah bot’s electric motors don’t hold it back in that department.

“Well I’ll just throw obstacles in its path!” Nope. It can jump. You’re dead. Thanks for playing.


(via Gizmodo, featured image via MIT)

Previously in MIT, DARPA, and their quest to instigate judgment day

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Dan is many things, including a game developer, animator, martial artist, and at least semi-professional pancake chef. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (his dog), both of whom are the best, and he will never stop reminding The Last Jedi's detractors that Luke Skywalker's pivotal moment in Return of the Jedi was literally throwing his lightsaber away and refusing to fight.