Star Wars Becomes Real as the World's Fastest Robot Hits the Road

By Tony Rizzo October 04, 2013

Not too long ago, we wrote an article that more or less stressed our amazement at SpaceX's ability to launch a rocket and then have it return upright exactly to its original point of launch. We're still amazed by it - it is literally science fiction becoming reality. Well, today we can say that we are now perhaps equally amazed at something else that falls under science fiction becoming reality - the development of an amazing new robot that is not only extremely fast and able to right itself if it happens to perhaps tip over while running, but one that bears an uncanny resemblance to those various Star Wars star trooper transport and attach vehicles we all know from the original Star Wars movies.

In case you need a quick memory jog, take a look at the image below of the "All Terrain Armored Transport."

This is the classic of course, and yes, it mostly rumbles slowly, though there were as well smaller pieces of hardware that were able to move more quickly. But keep it in mind and check out the following image.

See the resemblance? Use a bit of imagination if you must, but we can surely all agree that at a 1,000 foot level we are looking at more or less the same thing. True, perhaps the Stars Wars vehicle may look like it was modeled after an elephant rather than perhaps a bison, but it is the exact same concept.

What is it exactly? It's the Wildcat - a robot built by Boston Dynamics with funding provided by the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). It is being developed for military use but of course once it is developed we can certainly foresee all sorts of possible non-military uses. Or can we? Let us know your thoughts on how the Wildcat might evolve to become your next consumer purchase.

The beast can supposedly reach a galloping speed of around 16 MPH, which may not sound like much, but in fact is quite amazing - at least we think it is. We are also amazed by the level of control and programmability of the Wildcat. We aren't speaking here about some experimental, barely working entity - we are speaking about a robot that can in fact actually deliver on these things. The real question for us is to think about what it will be able to do next.

Don't believe us about any of this? Check out the Wildcat video below. There are as well other videos that will be listed at the end of the one below that show other related designs.




Edited by Alisen Downey

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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