Or at least that's what I assumed they were pondering when I saw the picture

Video: Darpa’s Robo-Ostrich Will Outrun Usain Bolt

Only one year into a four-year research contract, the team is showing off stunning results that are expected to produce the fastest, most agile ‘bot ever. He’s called FastRunner, and he’ll zip along at 10 times the speed of a standard mobile robot, which clocks a mere 3 miles per hour.

Already, the team has developed a simulation of FastRunner’s eventual capabilities and a full test leg that can zip along at 27 miles an hour — the same pace as Usain Bolt’s record-setting 2009 sprint. Eventually, they hope to see the ‘bot hit speeds in excess of “30, 40, 50 miles an hour,” according to Dr. Russ Tedrake at MIT.



In the future, that architecture could be applied to any ‘bot body. The team’s leg design relies on a locking knee, a single motor per leg (which reduces the weight of each leg and maximizes efficiency) and springs that can store energy and then release it to allow the robot to sustain a powerful pace. All of those elements, they say, can be applied to four-legged or humanoid robots.

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Hmm, how about powered armor? Anyone want to be a Starship Trooper?