WildCat the four-legged robot

 

By Posted 7 Oct 2013, 07:36

WildCat is a four-legged robot developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program, and looks like something you would see in a sci-fi movie or film set in the distant future.

As the Wildcat starts up the initial sound is much like that of a trails motorbike, but once it gets going we can’t help being captivated by the way it moves, making it seem much less like a robot and more like a wild animal.

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The Wildcat gets up much like an excited creature would and starts trotting around an area, then once it goes into a gallop you can imagine a wildcat or something similar picking up speed in the same way.

Once it gets going we start to wonder how fast this robot is actually travelling and whether it will be able to slow down. To see this in action we have embedded a video above this article Boston Dynamics, and although it only lasts around 2 minutes we get to see the Wildcat increase speed and slow down as well as performing circular turns that make this robot seem like it is alive.

Reminiscent of the robots seen in the Star Wars Phantom Menace film, the Wildcat is an amazing piece of machinery to watch in action and this four-legged robot looks so natural the way it moves we understand this is being developed to run fast on all types of terrain.

Initially the Wildcat was said to run at about 16 mph on a flat surface, but from what we can see in the video this looks like it must be their fastest recording of the robot in action to date. This give us plenty of ideas about uses for this and everything from alien terrains like the moon have sprung to mind, although we are sure a few movie producers will be looking at this as the ideal machine to use in a blockbuster movie.

We get the impression the Wildcat is destined to negotiate all forms of environments and keep standing upright, but we can imagine seeing more of these in the future helping out with a manner of tasks that might not be ideal for humans. Some may suggest combat situations or search and find rescue missions, while others may feel this could take on a whole new role with things like mobile CCTV and specific policing duties, but we would love to see more machines like these being used in movies instead of CGI.

To be fair once the Wildcat got moving I found it quite creepy, but in the same instant there were plenty of scenarios running through my mind, and the damage this could do if it went rogue, or humorous outcomes if it adapted even more cat-like characteristics. Generally, we are very impressed by the technology and movement seen in the video, so do you also find the Wildcat amazing, but creepy?

WildCat the four-legged robot