WildCat: Fastest Robot in the World at Over 28 MPH!

Out-running Usain Bolt’s paltry world record of 27.78 MPH, US Defence’s new cyber-cheetah raises the bar for a brave new robotic world.

Following in the paw-prints of fellow Boston Dynamics’ creation, AlphaDog (all-terrain running canine, or K-9 if you please, robot), WildCat is a cyber-cat robot which just clocked over 28 MPH on treadmill tests. Another product of DARPA’s (US Defence Dept) Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program, the synergies to a cheetah are obvious, as WildCat has been designed with speed in mind, as opposed to AlphaDog which was designed for travelling alongside soldiers in any environment.

Like space technology, robot technology has for decades lagged behind social pre-conceptions of robotics, driven largely by unrealistic depictions in sci-fi. But recent advances in technologies have meant that robot technology very possibly is going to hit its exponential growth curve in the very near future. These technological advances include optics (camera eyes), processors (running faster & cooler, able to handle the complex algorithms & calculations required to operate a myriad of pneumatic muscles) and the all-important battery technology (so often the main barrier to robots being able to operate long enough to do anything worthwhile – a bit like electric cars).

Which leaves just one question: have the creators of WildCat not seen Val Kilmer’s “Red Planet” yet?!?

Reporter: SilverFox

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