Ahad, September 09, 2012

US military develops 'robotic cheetah' faster than Usain Bolt

A 'robotic cheetah' with the ability to run faster than Olympic champion Usain Bolt has been developed by a team of US military researchers.
The Pentagon-funded machine set a new land speed record for four-legged robots after it clocked 28mph on a treadmill. It makes the 'cheetah' quicker than the world's fastest man Bolt, who reached a speed of 27.8mph to set a new 100m world record in 2009.

The machine was designed by Boston Dynamics which is developing a range of military robots being funded by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

'Achieving 28mph on the treadmill is quite a challenge and accomplishment, for which I commend our robotics team,' explained chief robotics scientist Dr Alfred Rizzi.

'Our real goal is to create a robot that moves freely outdoors while it runs fast. We are building an outdoor version that we call Wildcat, that should be ready for testing early next year.'

US forces believe the hi-tech robots can 'contribute to emergency response, humanitarian assistance and other defence missions' in the near future.

Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, said the machines could become 'high speed killers'.

'With faster than human speed, this is a step in the development of a high speed killer that could negotiate a battlefield quickly to hunt and kill,' he told the BBC.

'The biggest concern about this is that no artificial intelligence system can distinguish between civilians and enemy combatants, and so if this was operating on its own it would fall foul of the laws of war.'




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