Boston firm unveils four-legged sprinting robot

Oct. 4, 2013 at 7:06 PM
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BOSTON, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A Boston robotics firm has publicly unveiled its newest creation, a four-legged free-running robot dubbed WildCat that can hit speeds of 16 mph.

In a YouTube video release by Boston Dynamics, the all-terrain robot trots and then gallops across a parking lot, free from any tethers or treadmills that have constrained such devices in the past.

Boston Dynamics has developed a number of robots, including a "BigDog" model and a "Cheetah" which could hit 29 mph but was confined to a treadmill because of its system of tethers providing hydraulic power.

WildCat, in contract, is free of such restraints and has traded some top speed in return for the ability to operate on various surfaces.

WildCat is a four-legged robot being developed to run fast on all types of terrain," Boston Dynamics said on its website.

"So far WildCat has run at about 16 mph on flat terrain using bounding and galloping gaits," the company said. "The video shows WildCat's best performance so far. WildCat is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA's M3 program."

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