Us Army Cheetah Robot Designed to Chase down Enemy Humans

The cheetah has always been considered one of the world’s most elegant creatures, but also among its deadliest.  It runs with such speed and grace that you would never realize that at the end of one of its sprints, it was closing in on another kill with laser like precision.  Now imagine if someone could create a robot cheetah, capable of running a person down at high speed? Well the US Army is banking that somebody can and thus awarded a contract for a US Army Cheetah robot, designed to run down enemy humans.

To build this hi-tech cheetah, the US Army is looking to Boston Dynamics to get the job accomplished.  Boston Dynamics are well known in this military robot arena, having fashioned the Army BigDog robotic mule for that branch of the military.  The mule was created for the Army to be able to carry 300 pounds worth of gear in the field for soldiers that would not have to worry about lugging that weight at the same time they were concerned about getting shot at.

Now DARPA has decided to move things to a new level with this ground breaking Cheetah project.  The concept of this new robot would be to try and imitate the actual animal as close as possible.  The Cheetah robot would have four legs, so as to be able to reach the great speeds that the regular animal would.  It would also come equipped with a flexible spine which it would need to make the quick turns and movements that a human might make in efforts to elude it. 

This robot animal would also come complete with a head, and possibly a tail.  In addition, Boston Dynamics plans on creating it in such a way that it will be able to come to a stop almost in an instant, while still having the agility to not only chase down, but elude as well, should something start to pursue it.  Imagine the possibilities that a robot of that capability would have on a battlefield.  Chasing down assailants, being used as a spy type, why the possibilities seem limitless.

However, this robot is being looked at as having even more possibilities further down the road.  Citing an article of, the Cheetah could have uses in the fields of “emergency response, firefighting, advanced agriculture and vehicular travel.”  Think about the first two examples.  Instead of having to risk the life of any number of firefighters or police officers, send in the robot cheetah and let them easily survey the situation.

Very exciting to consider the possibilities when it comes to robotics and the many fields that they could potentially be involved in.  We have already seen there use in wars with drone technology.  These cheetahs would just be the next step in that process.