Robot cheetah breaks the land speed record for animal robots

If you’ve heard of DARPA, chances are you recognize it as the mysterious government agency that invented the internet. But they’ve actually invented all kinds of things. Standing for “Defense Advanced Research Project Agency,” DARPA is kind of like the Pentagon’s version of Google X Labs. Over the last few decades they’ve invented nifty stuff — from GPS to night-vision googles.

Now this government agency has invented a new novelty—a robotic cheetah for the express purpose of outrunning man!

Wait, what?

Yes, that’s correct—according to MSNBC this division of the Pentagon has been hard at work creating “combat robots that can outrun and evade humans on foot.”

While they’ve been experimenting with different models, DARPA has just completed a “cheetah” which uses a biometric (animal-like) galloping motion to achieve a speed of 18 miles per hour, or a 3.20 minute mile—conveniently just faster than man’s top speed of a 3.43 minute mile.

Boston Dynamics, the company DARPA contracted to build the “combat robot” says “in addition to the military applications, the robots can be used for humanitarian purposes such as emergency rescue and disaster response.”

Right, because outrunning earthquake victims is a huge priority is disaster response.

Creeped out yet?