The age of the robot is at hand and as scientists ready the next stage of non-human development, the world will anxiously wait to see just how far we’ve come. The latest in the field has just set a new land speed record. At least in the robot domain.

According to a report, a ‘Cheetah’ has just set the new robo-record for a speed in the four-legged robot category. Reaching speeds of up to 18 mph on a treadmill at a laboratory in Massachusetts, the ‘aptly named’ robot is definitely going to make a ‘speedy’ climb in the field of robotics. The previous record was 13 mph that was achieved by a two-legged robot, back in 1989. The test was conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with funding coming in from the U.S’s DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) under their Maximum Mobility and Manipulation programme.

Naturally, the application for this type of speed in robotics hasn’t really been implied during the test processes or after, so it’s merely considered an advancement in this type of technology. One of the scientists on the Cheetah programme, Dr. Alfred Rizzi who also happens to be the chief robotics scientist at Boston Dynamics, stated that the goal of this experiment is to, at some point have the robot go much faster and then move the experiment to an outdoors setting.

We designed the treadmill to go over 50 mph but we plan to get off the treadmill and into the field as soon as possible,” Rizzi said in a statement. “We really want to understand the limits of what is possible for fast-moving robots.

The practical application of such a robot in a real-world type situation has tremendous potential. For one, it could be used on a battlefield to deliver medical supplies to on-site medical units and officers in the field. It could also be used other hard-to-reach locations for similar purposes, if it were enabled to traverse all kinds of environments and geographic locations.

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