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This month’s hulking, Skynet killer robot is the Wildcat. Designed and built with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Boston Dynamics continues to improve upon previous designs such as the Cheetah and the Big Dog. Wildcat is a four-legged, load-bearing robot able to gallop, run, and turn corners at relatively impressive speeds.
“It is being developed to run fast on all types of terrain. So far, WildCat has run at about 16 mph on flat terrain using bounding and galloping gaits. The video shows WildCat’s best performance so far,” Boston Dynamics reports.
If you are familiar with basic human anatomy or robotic design, you realize how difficult it is to recreate the natural human gait, or walking gesture. Boston Dynamics has created several upright, bi-ped robots, such as PetMan and Atlas, that do a great job at mimicking the human walk, as well as climbing stairs and maintaining balance while traversing obstacles. Creating a four-legged beast that can maintain it’s balance, speed, and center of gravity, over uneven terrain and environments, is no easy task, either.
Whether these robots will serve mankind or eventually become our demise, one thing is for sure: they are impressive. And, they are paid for with your tax dollars, compliments of DARPA and the Department of Defense. Welcome to Skynet.
Other Future Killers:
Atlas (bi-ped soldier for rough terrain)
PetMan (bi-ped humanoid soldier)
Sand Flea (small; jumps 30 feet)
Cheetah (sleek 4-legged runner; 28mph)
Big Dog (large, load-bearing 4-legged)
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