For those who played Metal Gear Solid from Konami, chances are the robot that you see above, the FastRunner, might spark the memory plug in you as the Metal Gear Mk.II. Well, the robot on the left is very real, thanks to Dr. Russ Tedrake’s team over at MIT who explained the result of the collective efforts of IHMC ( Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition). Kudos to research scientist Jerry Pratt for teaming up with MIT researchers to “solve” the robot mobility challenge issued by the DARPA, resulting in the FastRunner. This bio-inspired ostrich robot which is said to be able to hit running speeds of more than 32 kph (20 mph) – and Dr. Russ insists that itself is a conservative figure. Even better is this – it will not bury its head in the sand whenever the action around it starts to get hot and heavy! Tipping the scales at 30 kg, the FastRunner will stand 140cm tall with a single actuator in each leg to help it get going.
The whole idea of the FastRunner is to develop a robot which is able to run 25 miles per hour, and make sure it does not suffer from any malfunction along the way. It would be interesting to see just where this robot will be applied in everyday life, but since it has been sanctioned by DARPA, something tells me that this will most likely end up on foreign soil whenever America upholds justice away from home.
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