World’s fastest two-legged robot goes for a run

worlds fastest two legged robot goes for a run mabel runningDon’t worry — if robots try to take over the world tomorrow, the average human can still outrun them.

Unfortunately, that’s about all the reassurance we can offer after watching a new video of MABEL, the running robot developed by researchers at the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon. In the footage (posted below), MABEL is seen jogging around a circular track at various speeds, liftings its “knees” and running as any human might (but causing a lot more noise while doing so).

The robot’s running speed currently tops out at 6.8 miles per hour, far below the average human running speed of 12-15 miles per hour — but then again, MABEL doesn’t need to catch its breath.

The robot was created in 2008, but only recently received the proper programming and mechanical tweaks to achieve the proper balance for high-speed running. One element that sets it apart from other “running” robots is its ability to spend a full third of each step in the air, significantly more time than any of its peers. (Most “running” robots move in a style more akin to speed-walking than running.)

According to MABEL’s creators, their research could go a long way toward creating robotic exoskeletons for humans or enabling robots to navigate uneven terrain for rescue missions or — and this is where our Skynet sense starts tingling — military service.

So, now the question becomes: when will MABEL get its first sneaker endorsement deal?

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Emerging Tech

Get one of the best cheap drones you can buy, and cry less when you crash

Want to get in on all this hot drone action, but don't want to spend half a paycheck to make it happen? There are actually lots of feature-packed budget options. Check out this list of the best drones under $500.
Cars

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).
Product Review

Parrot Anafi drone review

It’s definitely not perfect, and there are a few little things that could be improved, but even so, Anafi is unquestionably the best drone that Parrot has ever made.
Emerging Tech

Looking for a good read? Here are the best, most eye-opening books about tech

Sometimes it's sensible to put down the gadgets and pick up a good old-fashioned book -- to read about the latest gadgets, of course. Here are the tech books you need to check out.
Emerging Tech

From electron microscopes to X-rays, high-tech tools expose low-tech art forgery

At the Indianapolis Museum of Art, conservation scientist Greg Smith and Glennis Rayermann, then a Ph.D student, used high-tech equipment to determine if a painting was made by master forger Icilio Federico Joni.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX Starlink: Here’s everything you need to know

SpaceX Starlink is the name of Elon Musk's ambitious plan to blanket the globe with high speed broadband internet via a network of satellites. Here's everything you need to know about it
Emerging Tech

Flying food: Uber has set a target date to use drones for meal delivery

Uber is better known for transporting people around town, but it also has a growing meal-delivery business called UberEats. It currently uses drivers and cyclists to deliver the food, but also has plans to use drones.
Wearables

NYPD pulls thousands of body cams after one explodes

The NYPD has recalled thousands of body cameras after one of them exploded during an officer's shift on Sunday, October 21. No one was injured in the incident, which is thought to have been caused by the device's battery.
Emerging Tech

There’s finally a way to trace ‘untraceable’ 3D printed guns

To help track 3D-printed guns, researchers have developed a new algorithm which is able to identify which 3D printer was used to print an object, based on its unique fingerprint. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

These solar-powered water purifiers can produce 30,000 gallons of water per day

Problems with contaminated water? Quench Water & Solar's water purifiers can purify up to 30,000 gallons of fresh water per day and it's offering the technology to whoever wants it.
Smart Home

Silo A.I. vacuum storage system tells you when your leftovers are going bad

"Alexa, is the chicken still OK to eat?" Newly launched on Kickstarter, Silo is a neat vacuum storage container that will extend your food's shelf life -- and add in a useful dose of A.I., too.
Emerging Tech

Watch the moment NASA releases 450,000 gallons of water onto a launch pad

NASA's next-generation rocket will be one of the most powerful ever made and at launch will generate a colossal amount of heat and noise. Here's what it's going to do to control all that energy ...