WHEN YOU COMBINE robots and cheetahs with military funding, you’re bound to end up with something incredible. Robotics engineers from MIT have spent over five years developing a battery-powered quadruped robot capable of running as fast as a human being. And now they’ve trained that robot to jump over hurdles—autonomously.
In a video released today, the team from MIT shows off their DARPA-funded, four-legged harbinger of terror approaching and clearing obstacles up to 18 inches tall while maintaing an average speed of 5 mph. The 70-lb robot (roughly the same weight as a female cheetah) estimates the height, size, and distance of objects in its path, and adjusts its approach to prepare a jump and safe landing—all without slowing down.