Oh it may not look like much right now, but pretty soon you’re going to start seeing properly clothed versions of these…ahem…puppies scooting around town behind their owners, no question. It’s just a matter of getting the batteries right we reckon. MIT Cheetah Bot is a research project at MIT to develop an autonomous robot ‘creature’, rather like the original and rather scary LS3 ‘dog’ from Boston Dynamics.
Shaped uncannily like a big cat, this critter is a new departure for the genre in that it’s all electric, instead of gas powered, and it can also jump as well as lope across terrain. The whole project is, of course, funded by the US defense agency DARPA, so we can guess where this robot will end up first. But we’re thinking that android pets are not so far away, judging by the evidence of this new video.
The electric cheetah can currently manage only 10 mph on a treadmill, but the team is hoping to increase that to 30 mph. Whether they ever push that up to 60 mph (the speed a real live cheetah can achieve over open ground) is up for question, but if it happens, prepare to see a whole new breed of robot racing hit the streets one day.
For now, we’re going to keep a wary eye on the development of these robots, and if we see any company called CyberDyne Systems involved, start packing for the hills.