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Future Tech: 

A robot faster than Usain Bolt

For eight years and two summer Olympic games we’ve asked ourselves if there is a man faster than Jamaican sprint champion Usain Bolt, but both in Beijing and London, Bolt proved to be the fastest man on planet earth.

Scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) couldn’t wait for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio so they took it upon themselves to create a robotic creature capable of beating the legendary sprinter.

The Raptor is a two-legged robot that has blades for legs, similar to those used by amputee athletes, and even a tail for stability.

Based on the body type and features of a velociraptor dinosaur, it’s design allows it to reach speeds of up to 28.58mph, faster than Usain Bolt, whose top recorded speed up-to-date is 27.44mph.

Sprinting on two legs, using one motor to thrust power per limb and an Achilles tendon system similar to that in human bodies for shock absorption, the Raptor is the fastest two-legged non-human out there. The Raptor can’t officially claim to be the fastest robot in the world due to the existence of a four-legged competitor, the Boston Dynamics Cheetah.

Sadly, If you were looking forward to seeing the Raptor in a robot sprinting competition you’ll have to wait for the updated version. Made of lightweight material and weighing around 12kg, the Raptor’s design only allows it to run on a treadmill, but the team at KAIST plans to revamp parts of the robot to permit it to run on other surfaces. This robot showdown can’t come soon enough.

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