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(Need to resolve Wildcat vs Cheetah names. Looks like same frame with the Wildcat having an on-board gas-powered generator to unleash it.)
The Cheetah robot is the fastest legged robot in the World, surpassing 29 mph, a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989 at MIT.
The Cheetah robot has an articulated back that flexes back and forth on each step, increasing its stride and running speed, much like the animal does. The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a high-speed treadmill in the laboratory where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill. The next generation Cheetah robot, WildCat, is designed to operate untethered. WildCat recently entered initial testing and is scheduled for outdoor field testing later in 2013.
Atlas – DARPA’s Agile Anthropomorphic Robot
Atlas is a high mobility, humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain. Atlas can walk bipedally leaving the upper limbs free to lift, carry, and manipulate the environment. In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces.
Articulated, sensate hands will enable Atlas to use tools designed for human use. Atlas includes 28 hydraulically-actuated degrees of freedom, two hands, arms, legs, feet and a torso.
An articulated sensor head includes stereo cameras and a laser range finder. Atlas is powered from an off-board, electric power supply via a flexible tether.
Several copies of the Atlas robot are being provided as Government Furnished Equipment for the DARPA Robotics Challenge program with delivery scheduled in the summer of 2013.
|Army Scientists, Engineers develop Liquid Body Armor
By Tonya Johnson
Army News Service
April 21, 2004
|ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Liquid armor for Kevlar vests is one of the newest technologies being developed at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to save Soldiers’ lives.
This type of body armor is light and flexible, which allows soldiers to be more mobile and won’t hinder an individual from running or aiming his or her weapon.
The key component of liquid armor is a shear thickening fluid. STF is composed of hard particles suspended in a liquid. The liquid, polyethylene glycol, is non-toxic, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures. Hard, nano-particles of silica are the other components of STF. This combination of flowable and hard components results in a material with unusual properties.
“During normal handling, the STF is very deformable and flows like a liquid. However, once a bullet or frag hits the vest, it transitions to a rigid material, which prevents the projectile from penetrating the Soldier’s body,” said Dr. Eric Wetzel, a mechanical engineer from the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate who heads the project team.
To make liquid armor, STF is soaked into all layers of the Kevlar vest. The Kevlar fabric holds the STF in place, and also helps to stop the bullet. The saturated fabric can be soaked, draped, and sewn just like any other fabric.
Wetzel and his team have been working on this technology with Dr. Norman J. Wagner and his students from the University of Delaware for three years.
“The goal of the technology is to create a new material that is low cost and lightweight which offers equivalent or superior ballistic properties as compared to current Kevlar fabric, but has more flexibility and less thickness,” said Wetzel. “This technology has a lot of potential.”
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