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6. The Robo Raptor
The robo raptor has two strong legs made out of carbon fiber that can drive it to speeds of 28.5 miles per hour which is just fast enough to win a race against Usain Bolt. It weighs just under 7 pounds and comes equipped with two Achilles tendons that help absorb shock. The contraption was built by a team of engineers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and has a component that simulates a tail that enables the raptor’s body to stabilize it as it jumps over obstacles. For that to happen, the tail has to swing itself from side to side to act a counterweight. The researches throw boxes onto the treadmill, and the robo raptor does a fair job of being able to navigate itself over them.
5. The Robotic Cheetah
This robotic cheetah was created by Dr. Alfred Rizzi, who is the technical lead for the project and Chief Robotics Scientist at Boston Dynamics. The robot is capable of reaching a speed of up to 28 miles per hour on the treadmill, which is quite a challenge and an accomplishment in itself. Initially, Dr. Rizzi states that the ultimate goal for his team is to create a robot that moves entirely free outside without having the need to be hooked up to any cables. They’re currently working on another project to help achieve this goal that’s called the WildCat that they claim should be ready for testing within a few years. The construction of these military robots is made possible by the US government research agency DARPA.
4. The BigDog
This quadruped robot was fabricated back in 2005 by the company Boston Dynamics along with Foster-Miller, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Harvard University Concord Field Station. Entirely funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, the robot was supposed to act as a pack mule for US soldiers on active duty. However, the engine that was powered by petrol was, alas, too loud to be placed in combat and all work on the project halted towards the end of December 2015. Another similar attempt at this project was carried out with a robot named Spot but that one was scrapped as well.
3. The Legged Squad Support System
Also referred to as the “LS3”, this was a DARPA project that was for the creation of a robot that was able to operate autonomously as a packhorse for a team of soldiers or marines. Like it’s predecessor BigDog, the LS3 was specifically designed and adapted for military usage, with the power to maneuver in a multitude of different terrains and environments. The Legged Squad Support System was capable of carrying up to 400 pounds of equipment and was able to work quietly when needed. Unfortunately, there were complications with this robot as to the way it wasnt quiet enough and how to repair it should it become damaged. Initially, the Marine Corps decided not to integrate it, and it was placed into storage as of late last year. The entire project cost $42 million.
2. An Artificial Stingray
Not entirely robotic and not entirely a living creature, but a hybridization of the two. This artificial stingray was created earlier this year by a team of Harvard genetic engineers that were led by a bio-engineer named Kit Parker. Constructed out of rat cardiac cells, a gold skeleton, and some breast implant, the stingray is capable of moving thanks to the living rat cells that respond to light. The rat cells were kept alive and fed by a special liquid that the stingray swims in that contains suspended nutrients. It should be noted that the stingray would not have been able to survive outside of the lab because it doesn’t have an immune system to protect it from infections.
1. An Animal With Artificial Information
Scientists from the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge have managed to alter the genetic code of nematode worms, millimeter-long creatures that only have a thousand cells inside of their transparent bodies. The group validated their results by using a fluorescent dye - an artificial protein that they placed inside the worms’ DNA carries a fluorescent dye that emits a cherry red glow when viewed under ultraviolet light. For the method to actually work, the protein needs to be replicated in each cell of the worms’ bodies, in order for the worms to completely light up under the rays. This technique could eventually pave the way for scientists to manufacture new, man-made qualities in a wide variety of animals.