In what can only be described as a stunning and somewhat terrifying advance in military robotics (see live-action videos at the bottom of the page and at the hyperlink), this week we’re proud to bring you the world’s first fully-functional mechanized Cheetah (as if last week’s F16 drones weren’t cool enough…)
DARPA, in conjunction with scientists from Boston Dynamics, have apparently been working on this and related projects for numerous years in an effort to develop an ever-improving ability to keep human beings out of harm’s way on the battle field – particularly when facing threats like IEDs. The cheetah prototype, however, offers a completely new range of possibilities going far beyond your daddy’s slow-moving minesweeper.
As you’ll see, this is one sexy metal beast that can run, jump, hop up on its hind legs and move fast enough to terrify virtually any conceivable enemy.To date, it’s unclear whether the Robo-Cheetah (currently also referred to as “Wild-Cat”) will ever be actually be armed – but even if it isn’t, it’s not hard to imagine its non-lethal usefulness.
Were a platoon in the field to be confronted by a much larger enemy force, for example, having a Wild-Cat or two on your team could quickly create one hell of an unpleasant surprise for the bad guys. These things could easily generate absolute chaos among the enemy’s ranks, allow for plenty of extra time to bring down withering covering fire and – most critically – unlike us, they can’t be shot, they’re virtually impossible to blow up and THEY NEVER STOP COMIN’ AT YA. (Now if only DARPA would get back to work on that robotic Cheetah golf caddie I’ve been requesting… How long does a guy have to wait???)
Still, pretty damn awesome.