Pentagon Robot Is Faster Than Usain Bolt—and Freaks the Hell Out of Me

This is freaking scary. This is even scarier than Big Dog. It's the latest version of the Pentagons's newest Cheetah robot and it now runs faster than Usain Bolt. 0.5 miles per hour faster than the fastest man on Earth.


And if can catch Usain, it can catch you too. And then kill you.

According to Boston Dynamics, who is developing all this amazing biological-inspired robots for DARPA, the US military advance research arm, Cheetah can go up to 28.3mph. Usain ran at a maximum speed of 27.78mph during his 2009 100-meter world record, according to data from the International Association of Athletics Federations. And while Cheetah can maintain its speed for as long as it has power, a puny human can't.

Right now, this version is running on tethered power, but Boston Dynamics plans to test an outdoor version early in 2013.

Dr. Alfred Rizzi, technical lead for the Cheetah effort and Chief Robotics Scientist at Boston Dynamics, says that "achieving 28 mph on the treadmill is quite a challenge and accomplishment, for which I commend our robotics team. But our real goal is to create a robot that moves freely outdoors while it runs fast. We are building an outdoor version that we call WildCat, that should be ready for testing early next year."

This is the design for WildCat:

Illustration for article titled Pentagon Robot Is Faster Than Usain Bolt—and Freaks the Hell Out of Me

The robot apocalypse keeps getting nearer and nearer by the day.


Jesus Diaz

Jesuschrist, this thing. It really freaks me out... although I feel bad when it falls at the end. As Harry Sawyers told me over AIM: "why is it so easy to anthropomorphize the cheetah robot, rooting for it to go faster, feeling bad when it falls"?

Poor cheetah.