Science comes on in leaps and bounds as team creates 'robot cheetah'

As well as running, the robot can leap off the ground. Credit: YouTube/MIT

The field of robotics is moving forward in leaps and bounds if the latestinvention from a team of scientists in the US is anything to judge.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created what they described as a 'robotic cheetah' capable of bounding along the ground and even jumping in mid-air.

Video courtesy of YouTube/Massachusetts Institute of Technology

It works though an algorithm programmed into each leg that tells the robot to exert a certain amount of force just after it hits the ground, propelling it forwards at a consistent speed.

Although the robo-cheetah may have some way to go before hitting the sort of speeds its real-life cousin can achieve, it can already manage 10mph - no mean mechanical feat.

However, the MIT scientists say their creation may eventually hit speeds of up to 30mph.

Researcher Sangbae Kim is very optimistic about the possible applications of the technology.

He says it could be used to create hi-tech prosthetic limbs and even make a new mode of transport to replace cars.