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Robotic 'cheetah' sets speed record

Robotic 'cheetah' sets speed record
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Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 11:12pm

The fastest robot ever, dubbed "Cheetah," just zoomed past its own speed record and surpassed the fastest known human dash, clocking 28.3 mph during a treadmill test.

Cheetah's previous record speed was 18 mph, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military's research-and-development arm.

Usain Bolt set the world record for human speed when he reached 27.28 mph for a 20-meter split during a 100-meter sprint, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations. While reveling in the record, the research agency threw Bolt a bone, admitting the Cheetah had a slight advantage as it ran on a treadmill.

The agency has worked with Boston Dynamics on the Cheetah to create legged robots that "don't sacrifice speed for mobility on rough terrain," it said.

The high-speed running bot will be tested on natural terrain next year.

If Cheetah the bot, however, were to meet the animal it was designed after, there is no question which would win in a race.

Real cheetahs can run faster than any other land animal, regularly clocking as fast as 60 mph in short bursts. Their robotic cousin still has a way to go to beat that pace.

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