Speed Reads


Watch the robotic cheetah created by MIT researchers in action

No, you're not in the grasslands of East Africa, but rather the campus of MIT. And that's not an actual cheetah, but a robotic one that as of right now can go up to 10 mph.

Researchers at MIT studied cheetahs to see how they run in nature, and then created a robotic version that serves as "inspiration" for future engineering projects, says Sangbae Kim, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. "For example, we can create a prosthetic leg or we can make new transportation, replacing cars."

To get the cheetah moving, researchers have developed an algorithm that determines "the amount of force the bot's custom high-torque electrical motors deliver, which in turn controls how fast the robot runs and how high it leaps," Engadget explains. This version of the robotic cheetah can jump over 33 centimeters, and is quieter because it is electrically-powered. Kim believes this is only the beginning for robots. "I think this is a really exciting future, where robots can be more quiet, efficient and also powerful, and you might even be able to see the muscle performance in the future," he said. Watch the video below to gain more insight into the robotic cheetah and how it works. --Catherine Garcia