Google gets deeper into robot technology by buying maker of the autonomous cheetah

Internet giant Google has tightened its grip on future technology by buying US firm Boston Dynamics, which makes research robots for the US defence department.

Its creations include the Cheetah Robot, which can run at over 28 mph - "a bit faster than Usain Bolt", as the company says.

This is Google's eighth acquisition of a robot company in the last six months and is likely to spearhead the company's drive to develop autonomous technologies.

As well as running the world's most popular search engine, Google operates Android, the world's most widely used smartphone software.

Boston Dynamics has developed a wide range of robots which walk like people, run like dogs or jump like fleas, including the biped robot Atlas which is designed to for walking across rugged terrain.

The four-legged WildCat has been developed to run at speed on various types of terrain.

Petman was designed to mimic human movements and is used to test protective chemical weapons clothing.