independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Google buys four-legged Cheetah robot which can outrun the fastest human

Google has bought a new robotic dog that could change the world, resembling an artificial intelligence machine from a science-fiction movie.

A four-legged robot that can climb muddy hills and a robot called Cheetah that can outrun the fastest human was purchased by the world's largest internet search company.

The company's new robotics division now owns BigDog, an all-terrain, four-legged robot developed for the US military.

The company acquired Boston Dynamics, a privately held company best known for building robots, which are often co-developed or funded by the US military.

The four-legged Cheetah robot can surpass speeds of 29 miles (46km) an hour and is billed as the "fastest legged robot in the world".

The internet giant is remaining quiet on what it intends to do with the new robots but recent media reports suggest it will be used to develop robotics technology to use in factories.

Boston Dynamics works with the US army, navy, marine corps and the defense department's advanced research projects agency (Darpa), according to its website.

The company's website displays a range of nine different robots, including a Darpa-funded machine capable of scaling vertical walls using "micro-claws".

A small four-wheeled vehicle that can jump nine metres (30ft) into the air is being developed with the US army's Rapid Equipping Force.

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