March 06, 2012, 9:25 AM — You might not think 18 mph is fast, but for robots it's the new world record. Check out the video provided by DARPA showing a demonstration of its "Cheetah" robot, which can gallop at speeds up to 18 mph, breaking the previous record of 13.1 mph, set in 1989.
DARPA says the robot's movements "are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does."
DARPA also says the program is not focused on specific military missions, but that it could be used for a "wide range of potential military applications." We know where this is heading - when the robots eventually take over, they'll be able to use the cheetah robots to chase and hunt down all of the humans. Running at 18 mph shouldn't be an obstacle - most of the humans will be sitting on their couch watching funny animal videos, like this one of a dog playing the piano and "singing" along:
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