The cheetah robot developed by the MIT biomimetics lab is able to run more than 10 mph, jump over 16 inches high and run for more than 15 minutes using its own power source. The robot uses lightweight yet powerful motors and a customized algorithm to help it decide how much force it should exert while running and jumping.
The MIT project is being funded by DARPA, which also is providing money to Boston Dynamics for a similar robot design. It took more than five years of designing, testing and modifications to the electrical motor and sensors for MIT to create its current prototype.
"This is kind of a Ferrari in the robotics world, like, we have to put all the expensive components and make it really that instinctive," said Sangbae Kim, MIT associate professor and Biomimetics Robotics Lab team leader. "That's the only way to get that speed."