Behold the Cheetah Robot. The Singularity Is Nigh!

Photograph by Boston Dynamics via Youtube

Big defense budgets during the aughts financed the deployment of thousands of robots, including unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles, to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon’s fascination with robots hasn’t slackened even in these more austere times. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is funding Boston Dynamics’ development of a prototype robot called the Cheetah. On March 5, the company announced that the cat-like bot managed to gallop 18 mph on a treadmill, setting a new land speed record for legged robots. (The previous record: 13.1 mph, set at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989.) Here’s the video in all its Rise of the Machines creepiness. Or coolness. Your call.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.