Stealth drones save troops, but they get shot down easily. DARPA's given the engineers at Boston Dynamics the green light to build the world's fastest four-legged robot based on a cheetah. Sounds like Beast Wars' Cheetor to us!
With an emphasis on speed, Boston Dynamics is shooting for a cheetah robot that can run at 20-30 miles per hour. According to Boston Dynamics, "the four-legged cheetah will sprint faster than a human, take tight corners so it can zigzag to chase or evade, and be able start and stop on a dime." Eventually, Boston Dynamics wants to be able to match the speed of a real cheetah, which is closer to 60-70 miles per hour.
Throw in a couple of high definition infrared cameras for eyes and a galore of radio antennas for ears and you have a bonafide spy robo-cat that'd fool almost anyone.
DARPA's giving Boston Dynamics 20 months to pony up a preliminary prototype for the cheetah robot. We'll believe it when we see it because most human and animal-like robots we've seen tend to be on the super-slow, rather than super-fast side.