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The Pentagon's Super-Fast Robot Now Runs on Its Own

Last year, DARPA unveiled Cheetah: a robot that could run faster than Usain Bolt. Now, the same team has managed to create a version that doesn't need a power cord, making the electronic beast free to roam wherever it chooses. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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A relative of Cheetah, say hello to WildCat. This robot is based on the same design as Cheetah, but doesn't have the tethered power cable of its predecessor; instead, it has a large—and quite loud!—motor attached to it.

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That extra weight does means it can't quite match the pace—Cheetah can reach 28mph, while WildCat can only manage 16mph. But, hey, given that's faster than most of us can run, it's not too bad. And remember, WildCat can keep up that speed for as long as it motor runs, which humans definitely can't.

Certainly, it's fast enough to chase you, and perhaps catch you, and maybe even kill you. All without a wire in sight. We're all going to die, guys. [Boston Dynamics via Engadget]

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DISCUSSION

Now far be it from me to criticise US Defence spending (please, others join in too, it's fun and super easy) but all this has been developed so that troops have a means move moving heavy loads over rough ground that you need legs for.

Ahem:

You don't need to find a socket to plug this into, this "recharges" with things like grass and unprocessed grain. This seems by the sound and smoke of the "Cheetah" to need a small gasoline engine, if it's a 2 stroke then its not going to have any sort of useful range.

Yes Mules are vulnerable to small arms fire, but so are these robots.

Frankly I'm not going to be interested in such robots till they exceed either the price of pack-animals or their capability. Like the range and economy of a mule but resistant to AK47 gunfire. Or is very fast and mobile with a useful close weapons system.