back to article MIT's robo-cheetah leaps walls in a cyborg hunt for Sarah Connor

Robot builders at MIT have created a cyber-cat that can run and jump over objects without human control. Youtube Video The robot in question, the DARPA-funded Cheetah, is capable of leaping over walls 18 inches tall – more than half its own height – and continuing to run as fast as 22 kilometers per hour (13mph). "A running …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    This is good.... the robots can jump the fences around their compound and run off into the rest of the world. I can't wait for them to get AI. This isn't gong to end well, is it?

    Mine's the gunship loaded with armor-pieircing... -------------->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Don't worry - I'm sure the power lead isn't long enough for them to get far before pulling it from the wall.

      1. Andrew Tyler 1

        Don't forget, robots overlords aren't bothered by radiation. The one coming after you will have a 10kg slug of plutonium in it providing 5kw of power. If you can manage to keep ahead of it for 90 years, it'll be down to 2.5kw though, so your chances will double.

        Better hope you are a citizen of Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong.

        1. joed

          I would not be so sure about this immunity to radiation, just ask NASA engineers. Now, mounting pounds of plutonium into this junk would make it more of a target than hunter (and just plain heavy). Also, by the looks I'd bet that on downward slope this thing would just tumble over, it'll be funny to look at. In addition, even if it was stable in straight line, any "helpful" nudge from side would have it on it's back, ready for picking of precious content/parts.

          1. JCitizen
            Boffin

            pushed aside

            There is quite a lot of video of this and other four legged robots being pushed over, and it didn't deter them any more than a live deer.

  2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Well that kinda sucks

    Not the cheetah, that's a pretty sweet bit of kit. What sucks is to have that kind of tech but also having to run along beside it pushing a cart with your mate on it so he can film it from a good angle. Of course the stop at the end sucks even more for your mate if you slip and fall.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Well that kinda sucks

      It's like "Jackass", only with robots!

      Also, in the video:

      "Researchers have developed new algrothims to autonomously jump over obstacles"

      Looks like MotR (Machines on the Rise) have already managed to put LSD into the water cooler in a breakout bid, then?

      1. Cliff

        Re: Well that kinda sucks

        I like the way at the end of that video it would warp time so it could jump slowly. Now that is ROTM.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Well that kinda sucks

      What sucks is to have that kind of tech but also having to run along beside it pushing a cart with your mate on it so he can film it from a good angle. Of course the stop at the end sucks even more for your mate if you slip and fall.

      Yes, that surprised me too. I would have expected a segway, a tracking drone (maybe they couldn't get one that wasn't armed:) ) or even another robot..

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    Scary

    I'd like to see someone put a fake dog "skin" around and get it to chase someone.

    That's would be fun to see but very unsettling.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Scary

      Dont forget to make the dog one-eyed for extra effect!

    2. Cliff

      Re: Scary

      Dog 'skin' with a bleeding stump or loose hanging severed head - now that would be scary.

  4. Jonathan Richards 1
    Alert

    Countermeasures

    OK, the number of times that I'm going to be chased through an indoor sports hall by a mechanical predator is (very hopefully) exactly zero, but it's not too soon to be thinking of ways to defeat robotics of this sort. I would expect that one could blind the LIDAR with a handheld laser, for example, and it'll be a while before robo-boffins have a struggle-out-of-a-polypropylene-net algorithm.

    This is definitely deep in the Uncanny Valley.

    Edit: I would also observe that this mecha-cheetah does not have the essential feature that makes a bio-cheetah able to hit such high speeds, viz. a very flexible spine. I would observe that, only I don't want to give the blighters any ideas.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Countermeasures

      "but it's not too soon to be thinking of ways to defeat robotics of this sort"

      Here's a way to defeat an AI

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iv_XaPp-XIY

    2. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Countermeasures

      "it's not too soon to be thinking of ways to defeat robotics of this sort"

      An obstacle with something like trip wire or a pit on the other side where it can't be seen until too late.

      Or Bolas would be really bad news for it.

      1. Afernie

        Re: Countermeasures

        "Or Bolas would be really bad news for it."

        There would be an issue with taking out the weaponised version. While you're concentrating on the task of hitting it's legs with the bolas, will it be liberally spraying you with a 20mm autocannon? Or, perhaps a 'Westinghouse M-27.'

  5. Solly
    Terminator

    It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

    But hey, it's great at jumping :-)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

      Or at least not until the battery runs out. Or catches fire.

      On the other hand, despite what at first seems a very uncomfortable ride, the main torso is actually quite smooth moving all things considered. Can we scale this up to ride on? Or in? Yee Haa Cowboy! Sod the traffic jams!

  6. Captain DaFt

    NASA, pay attention:

    Do not send one to Mars!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Planet_%28film%29

  7. bollos
    FAIL

    wankers.

    wasting tsunamis of american tax payers money year in year out on pointless crap.

    as bill hicks said "these people are in hog heaven".

    ..oh and starting pointless wars inflaming entire regions of this planet, that too.

    1. RegGuy1

      Re: wankers. -- NOT FAIL

      You need to read The Entrepreneurial State by Mariana Mazzucata. Her thesis is that Apple exists exactly because of this. It is not the animal spirits of US companies, but the billions of dollars in basic research that no commercial company would do. So DARPA does it first then US companies ride on the back of it.

      Indeed, as Keynes noted, it is the publicly funded organisations of the state that have the animal spirits.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: wankers. -- NOT FAIL

        The Entrepreneurial State

        I opened it then closed it.

        It's total, utter crap and totally at odds with anything real and what I encounter around me. Or with common sense. The author must be pissing from high up the ivory tower.

        Indeed, as Keynes noted, it is the publicly funded organisations of the state that have the animal spirits.

        Keynes was also one of those people that manage to actually NEVER be right about anything. But he managed to lather his writings into so much high-falutin bullshit that politicians and academics alike could reasonably claim that reasonable policy was being described, and thus could follow their instincts to generate free money. Which brings us to today's neverending economic meltdown.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: wankers. -- NOT FAIL

          "Keynes was also one of those people that manage to actually NEVER be right about anything."

          You're so full of shit your eyes are brown. It's supply side economics that is the complete and utter fallacy. Trickle-down-your-pants economics is up there with every chunk of Randian bullshit as some of the most toxic ideas mankind has ever produced.

    2. Javapapa

      Re: wankers.

      Take away our Chinese Express credit card and much of this kind of excess will end.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: wankers.

        Actually Japan recently took the number one spot from China as top debt holder. Even so all foreign debt holders combined only account for about 1/3 of the total debt; see page 43 of this PDF.

  8. W Donelson

    I am VERY impressed. This is truly Awesome stuff !

  9. frank ly Silver badge

    I'm wondering ....

    .... when it will be able to jump onto a ledge or move around corners or avoid large objects. What they've done so far is impressive but as with Big Dog, I've only seen them move in straight lines.

  10. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    This is all very impressive

    But c'mon, guys, stick a bloody head on it.

    I *know* it doesn't need one, but it looks so odd - and to me, disturbing - without one. Get one on there!

    1. Loud Speaker

      Re: This is all very impressive

      It may not need a head, but a tail would obviously improve the performance enormously. Look at the way the hind end moves. A tail would enable it to get the legs up with far less body movement, saving a lot of energy. (Using a combination of momentum and air flow).

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: This is all very impressive

      In keeping with its undoubted ultimate purpose, it needs three heads.

  11. x 7 Silver badge

    Terminator?

    more like the hound from Farhenheit 451

    all it needs is a cyanide-laced syringe and needle in its mouth....

  12. Michael Habel Silver badge

    They need to make it look more like Ravage for the EPIC 80's Robo Kitty!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Every time my sister sees the latest developments on this beastie..

    She keeps asking, when will they ever get it right?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Every time my sister sees the latest developments on this beastie..

      Upvoted for the Halo Jones reference.

  14. Graham O'Brien

    More like this but faster ... and a spare leg

    http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/Houndeye

    Are they funding the sonic shock yet? Or isn't it lethal enough?

  15. iLuddite

    copy cats

    What the NSA has done for the foil hats, DARPA will do for the gun nuts.

  16. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Wrong animal

    The head on shot of it running down the gym looked more like a sheep!

    :-)

  17. Martin Budden

    chickens

    How come none of the MIT people lay down in front of it to get jumped over? I would have! Even if it did mean wearing a pink jumpsuit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: chickens

      before test -white jumpsuit/coverall

      after test - pinkish jumpsuit/coverall

  18. Pitron
    Paris Hilton

    ceiling cat is watching you.

    And transmitting it's info as you....

  19. Esme

    Can I pre-order my Aineko yet?

    Just wonderin'...

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