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Running cheetah Photo by: Flickr/David Nunn

MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Free

by Jessica Mulholland / September 16, 2014

More than two years ago, a cheetah robot from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Boston Dynamics clocked 18 mph on the treadmill. Though MIT's cheetah robot hasn't yet matched that speed, it has something else going for it: This cheetah can run free, no treadmill necessary, thanks to an algorithm developed by MIT  researchers, MIT News reported.

This robo-cheetah — a four-legged machine composed of gears, batteries and electric motors that MIT says weighs about as much as its feline counterpart — recently took a test run on MIT’s Killian Court, where it bounded steadily across the grass.

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The MIT cheetah-bot in MIT's Killian Court. Photo by Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

The robot recently sprinted up to 10 mph on an indoor track, and continued running after clearing a hurdle, according to MIT, whose researchers estimate that the current version of the robot may eventually reach speeds of up to 30 mph.