The Cheetah robot is the fastest legged robot in the World, surpassing 29 mph, a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989 at MIT.
The Cheetah robot has an articulated back that flexes back and forth on each step, increasing its stride and running speed, much like the animal does. The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a high-speed treadmill in the laboratory where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill. The next generation Cheetah robot, WildCat, is designed to operate untethered. WildCat recently entered initial testing and is scheduled for outdoor field testing later in 2013.
Cheetah robot development is funded by DARPA's Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program.