MIT’s Robot Cheetah of Doom Now Runs Free

So, A Robot Cheetah Without a Leash, Huh? That’s…Unnerving.

CNet reports that MIT figured out a way to let loose its amazing, yet horrifying, Robot Cheetah, which previously required a leash. I’m a little torn about developments like this one. Part of me says something that rhymes with “Hell yeah, robot animals are awesome!” But then, there’s this other part of me that’s seen way too many “robots rise up and kill us all” movies and read too many future dystopia novels and thinks “Hey, what’s stopping the government from strapping a gun to this sucker and running me down?” That’s the good and bad of cool technology, I guess. Every time somebody achieves something amazing, some control freak tries to use it to put us all in our place.

So with those fun fears acknowledged, it’s worth it to sit back a little and marvel at how far robotics have come in the last few years. When we first saw this thing it was tethered to a bunch of cables, running on a treadmill. Now it’s bounding across the lawn at MIT, just waiting for a chance to go camping and scare the shit out of the people in the next tent over. Fun times, I tell you. Check out the video below, where they show you the “animal” moving about both inside and outside the lab, as well as talk about their hopes for the research ultimately yielding forms of transportation that don’t rely on roads. It’s definitely got its share of cool applications, and I sincerely hope that it turns out we’ll see the fun side of the Robot Cheetah of Doom before the, uh, doom side. Drop us a note in the comments and tell us what you think about this new and fascinating innovation in the field of robotics! Where do you see it going?

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