Korea Develops Running Robot Faster Than a Human

D-Bo , June 5, 2014, 10:17 a.m.


The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a robot capabable of sprinting faster than the fastest human.  The robot, named ‘The Raptor’, can reach sprinting speeds of 28.5 mph.  Currently the fastest person in the world is Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt from Jamaica.  His top speed has been recorded at 27.44 mph. 

The design of the robot is inspired by the Velociraptor dinosaur, which we’ve seen terrorizing the masses on screen with its powerful hind legs and teeny arms in the much beloved classic film Jurassic Park. The robot, like the dinosaur, runs on its two legs, but the limbs are made of carbon fiber prosthetic blades, allowing the robot to be lightweight, at 6.6 pounds. It even has a “tail,” a spinning rod attached to the robot to prevent it from falling over. The robot can jump over obstacles as tall as four inches, while still maintaining its speed—a monumental achievement for the Korean researchers in robotics science.

 

While The Raptor’s stats are impressive, it actually isn’t the fastest in the robotics world. Boston Dynamic’s Cheetah, modeled after the fastest mammal alive, can surpass Bolt and The Raptor, as its fastest speed record show 29.3 mph, slightly faster than South Korea’s robot. But further test runs are reportedly underway at KAIST to help propel South Korea’s Raptor to first place.

There is one drawback to this speedy robot: it can only run when attached to a rail.  The Raptor and The Cheetah are only a few of the many animal-inspired robots engineers and researchers are unveiling in recent months around the world. German engineers debuted their Bionic Kangaroo robot in April and The Defense Advanced Research Project Administration (DARPA) has also released their versions of robots derived from animals, such as the Wild Cat, Big Dog, and the previously mentioned Cheetah.

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