Boston Dynamic’s Cheetah Robot Can Now Outrun Usain Bolt

This is the latest video from Boston Dynamics, the company famous for creating the dynamically stable quadruped Big Dog. Just six months ago, we saw this Cheetah robot run at 18mph, crushing the previous speed record of 13.1mph, which was set at MIT in 1989. This time, it’s running at 28.3mph; quick enough, in fact, to overtake sprinter Usain Bolt.

Although the video shows the Cheetah running on a treadmill with a stabilizing boom, Boston Dynamics has plans to start doing untethered, outdoor testing by early 2013. The bot’s currently powered externally by a hydraulic compressor, which flexes the back to give it a long stride similar to that of a cheetah. The project is funded by DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program.

You can learn more and watch the previous video on Boston Dynamic’s website here.


22 thoughts on “Boston Dynamic’s Cheetah Robot Can Now Outrun Usain Bolt

  1. Interesting and it has potential just not really impressive.

    I realize that this is only a very small step towards a larger goal……. but at this stage it’s about as impressive as it is unimpressive. Once they get to the point where this thing can move at 28+ MPH in a dynamic environment I’ll be officially 100% impressed. Until then we have something that can move much faster on a predefined flat surface and its called a wheel.

    I do look forward to some future date when I can go to a museum and look at something like this and thing “Wow, this was the progenitor of (insert robotics standard)”.

  2. If it’s a 100m race, Bolt will probably still have an advantage in starting (he can probably accelerate to his max speed faster than cheetah can).
    For 200m race, Bolt can turn better, Cheetah only seems optimized for straight running…

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Eric is a Mechanical Engineer with interests in machining, mass manufacturing, product design and kinetic art. While not building things, he enjoys skiing, cycling, and juggling.

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