Scientists develop robot that runs like a cat

Artist's rendering by Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL) released on June...

Artist's rendering by Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL) released on June 17, 2013 of the "cheetah-cub robot." (EPFL/HO)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:15 PM ET

Scientists have developed a robot that can run like a cat, because why not?

No one would mistake the cat-sized box of gears and bolts for Ginger or Felix, but it does have the speed and agility of a kitty thanks to a "faithful reproduction of the feline leg," say biomechanics experts at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.

A video shows the "cheetah-cub robot" bounding on legs that follow the form, structure and proportion of a cat's.

"Springs are used to reproduce tendons, and actuators - small motors that convert energy into movement - are used to replace the muscles," the researchers said.

In their work, they look for ways to apply principles from the animal kingdom into robotics.

Their aim is to develop "fast, agile, ground-hugging machines" that can be used for search-and-rescue or ground-level exploration.


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