A new biomimetic robot has entered the speed races and this one is based on the extinct velociraptor. Remember when Boston Dynamic's Cheetah robot clocked in at 47 km/h beating Usain Bolt's land speed record of 43.92 km/h? Well, KAIST's Raptor robot is barely behind with a top speed of 46 km/h making another animal-inspired robot that is out-running the fastest person on Earth.
The Raptor doesn't look especially like what we know velociraptors to look like, but it's legs were built to precisely mimic the sprinting dinosaur. It also features a stabilizing "tail" like the dinosaur used to keep balance while running at fast speeds and over obstacles. On the Raptor, the tail is a swinging pole that provides stability and allows it to run over obstacles at a high speed without falling over.
The Raptor is smaller than other animal-like robots we've covered. It weighs only 3 kilograms and it's legs are made of lightweight composite material. It's design is also far less complicated than other bio-bots.
Discovery News reports, "Unlike other legged robots that rely on multiple actuators, Raptor uses just one motor per leg, which consists of a nine-bar linkage. To recover part of the energy used to make the robot move, the researchers added Achilles tendons that work as springs, absorbing and restoring energy with every step.
The robot's control system is also simple. Raptor runs a computer program known as a running pattern generator, which controls gait and speed."
Like the Cheetah, it is currently tethered to a beam and runs on a treadmill, but Boston Dynamics cut the tether with the Cheetah's successor WildCat within just a couple of years, so we may be seeing super fast robo-raptors running around unchained helping with emergency response or military missions soon enough.
Check out a video of the Raptor in action below.