Swiss engineers have created a four-legged machine that mimics the stride of cats.
Developed by robotics researchers at Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EFPL), the small, housecat-sized machine isn't that fast; its top speed is just 3.1 mph. But the robo-feline's creators think they can ratchet up its speed to somewhere around the 40 mph mark, making it ideal for traversing rough terrain and conducting search-and-rescue missions. (Once they take it off its tether, at least.)
"This morphology gives the robot the mechanical properties from which cats benefit," explains EPFL's Alexander Sproewitz, "that's to say a marked running ability and elasticity in the right spots, to ensure stability. The robot is thus naturally more autonomous."
The next step, presumably, is to program it to ignore you.