Scientists build robot that runs, call it "cheetah" A robotic cheetah runs on an athletic field at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts (AP photos)
Scientists build robot that runs, call it "cheetah"
Lexile

It's a robot unlike any other. It's inspired by the world's fastest land animal. It's controlled by video game technology. And it packs nifty sensors.

The robot is called the cheetah. It can run on batteries at speeds of more than 10 mph. It can jump about 16 inches high, land safely and continue galloping for at least 15 minutes. And it does it all while using less power than a microwave oven.

It's the creation of researchers at the Massachusetts of Technology.

"This is kind of a Ferrari in the robotics world," said MIT professor Sangbae Kim, who leads the school's Biomimetic Robotics Lab that designed the robot. "That's the only way to get that speed."

The prototype could have real-world applications. Those include the design of revolutionary artificial limbs amd all-terrain wheelchairs. Even vehicles that can travel in rough terrain much like animals do, Kim said. There are hopes the robot will be able to be used in search and rescue operations.

Sensors inside the robot measure the angle of the leg. That information is sent to an onboard computer.

The project is funded by the U.S. military.

Crafting the cheetah robot took five years. There was designing, testing and tweaking. It also took plenty of confidence to ignore critics. They said electric motors aren't strong enough to propel a running mechanical cheetah powered by batteries.

During test runs, the robot broke dozens of legs. But strong, lightweight components made running possible. They include a carbon fiber-and-foam sandwich frame. It can absorb the forces generated by running and jumping.

Some off-the-shelf components came in handy. An Xbox controller is used to maneuver the robot. And wireless Internet communications send commands to the mechanical cheetah.

"In the next 10 years, our goal is we are trying to make this robot to save a life," Kim said.

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COMMENTS (18)
  • haileybr-Bla
    12/07/2014 - 09:19 p.m.

    This article is about a robot that is called the cheetah. It is called the cheetah use it looks like a cheetah and I think it runs like a cheetah too. Another can do is jump 16 feet high. For the next ten years that company hopes to use the cheetah for search and rescue missions. Making the cheetah took them five years. That is my summary on the article I read.

  • pennyw-Bla
    12/08/2014 - 05:44 p.m.

    Scientist built a cheetah robot. It took 5 years. The military paid for it. It runs on batteries, and can run and jump. The robot uses an X-box controller and wireless internet to make it move. It may be used to help with wheelchairs and artificial limbs.

  • 16Colin-May
    12/09/2014 - 02:24 p.m.

    Why in the world would you call it a chetah when it only goes 10 mph!Why would the military fund it>It doesnt have weapons atached to it.the army already has robot dogs to go into battle and carry the gigantic packs that they have to where.the cheta is not very good what will it to to help inprove.

  • NoahH-Mau
    12/11/2014 - 11:30 a.m.

    16 inches high.
    MLT
    U.S military
    5 years
    Xbox 360 controller
    My name is Noah and i like the robot cheetah

  • CooperG-Mau
    12/11/2014 - 11:32 a.m.

    1.it can jump 16 inches.

    2.Massachusetts of technology created it.

    3.it will be used in search and rescue missions.

    4.It took 5 years.

    5.They use an X-box controller to control the robot/cheetah.

  • OliviaT-Mau
    12/11/2014 - 11:33 a.m.

    1. It can jump 16 inches high.

    2.Perfesser Kim Sangbae.

    3.So the robot can save a life.

    4.It took five years.

    5.An Xbox controller

  • JoshG-Mau
    12/11/2014 - 11:34 a.m.

    1, they can jump16 inches

    2, they used Massachusetts technology

    3,In search and rescue for operations .

    4 it took,5 years.

    5 they used a ,x-box contreler

  • VictoriaT-Mau
    12/11/2014 - 11:34 a.m.

    2.Kim made it.
    5.It is controlls it.
    3.They hope for the cheetah robot to used for search and resco operachins. And in ten years to save a life.
    1.It can jump 16 inches high.
    4. It tock five years to make this robot.

  • AlainaT-Mau
    12/11/2014 - 11:34 a.m.

    1 2 3 4 5
    the robot can jump16 inches the creater was biomimetic to in search to rescue operations. it was 5 years to build it x box controller.

  • BrookeS-Mau
    12/11/2014 - 11:34 a.m.

    1. it can jump up to sixteen inches high
    2. it was made by Sangbae Kim
    3. they hope it will be used for rescue operations.
    4. crafting the cheetah robot took five years
    5. it is made from video game technology

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