June 18 - A bipedal robot modelled on the now extinct Velociraptor, can run faster than Usain Bolt, according to its developers. The Jamaican sprinter holds the 100 metres world record with a time of 9.58 seconds but South Korean researchers say their robot could leave him in the dust. Rob Muir reports.
Its developers say their Velociraptor Robot is the fastest robot on Earth. Natsot (Running) Modelled on the fast-running predator of more than 70 million years ago, the robot's hooked, carbon-composite legs are controlled by individual motors. Balance is provided by a long tail-like appendage and, while it has to remain tethered to a supporting arm, Park Jong-won from South Korea's KAIST Institute, says his robot is quicker than the fastest man on Earth. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH KOREAN RESEARCHER OF KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KAIST), PARK JONG-WON, SAYING: "The robot can run 100m in just 7.8 seconds. That means the robot is faster than Usain Bolt." Faster by almost two seconds. But the Raptor robot has not been designed to challenge Usain Bolt. Park says it's meant to eventually serve a practical purpose as a delivery or reconnaisance machine for the military or for search and rescue purposes, in places inaccessible to wheeled vehicles. He says for speed and balance on uneven surfaces, the active tail will be crucial, as it was fr the original Velociraptor. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH KOREAN RESEARCHER OF KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KAIST), PARK JONG-WON, SAYING: "The robot can manage its body posture very actively based on the natural movement of animals." Eventually, Park's team would like to let the Raptor Robot off the leash, but he says a lot more work still needs to be done before it can be allowed out on its own.