Boston’s Cheetah Robot runs faster than Usain Bolt

The Cheetah Robot takes a whirl around the treadmill.

A robot cheetah built by Boston Dynamics, a robotics company that builds advanced robots with mobility, agility and dexterity, is quicker than the world’s recorded fastest runner.

The company announced Wednesday that its Cheetah Robot sprinted more than 28 miles per hour, setting a new land speed record for legged robots, and running faster than Olympic Champion Usain Bolt, who holds the world record for the 100 meter dash.

When Usain Bolt ran the 100 meter in 2009 he set a new world record of 9.58 seconds. His average speed was 23.35 mph, but his peak speed for the best 20 meter split was 27.78 mph, according to IAAF data. The Cheetah Robot’s fastest 20 meter split was 28.3 mph.

To increase the robot’s running speed from its previous best of 18 mph, the engineering team refined the control algorithms that coordinate the robot’s leg and back motions and increased the installed power, according to a spokeswoman for Boston Dynamics.

“Achieving 28 mph on the treadmill is quite a challenge and accomplishment, for which I commend our robotics team,” said Dr. Alfred Rizzi, technical lead for the Cheetah effort and Chief Robotics Scientist at Boston Dynamics.

But ultimately, the innovative company wants to get its technology off of the treadmill, and onto the ground.

“But our real goal is to create a robot that moves untethered outdoors while it runs fast,” Rizzi said. “We are building an outdoor version that we call WildCat, that should be ready for testing early next year.”


Check out the Cheetah Robot owning Bolt’s record:


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