DARPA researchers at MIT and the Florida Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) are designing a "FastRunner" robot that will be capable of moving at 10 times the speed of standard mobile 'bots.
"We're using principles found in biology [such as ostrich legs] to build efficiency and speed right into the robot," IHMC researcher Johnny Godowski told Wired Danger Room.
"And we're confident that this will open up the possibility for humanoid robots that are useful in all sorts of situations — military for one, but also fire rescues or natural disasters, for example."
According to Godowski, the team has already developed a simulation of FastRunner's theoretical capabilities, along with a full test leg capable of moving at 27 miles an hour.
However, the team eventually believes the 'bot could hit speeds up to 30, 40, or 50 miles an hour.
"We're really excited to show off what FastRunner can do... This doesn't just mean one fast robot. It means we've developed the architecture for all sorts of robots, humanoid robots for example, to maneuver and show off impressive agility at high speeds," he added.