If you’ve seen any robot try to walk, you’ll know that they’re not very elegant. The reason is their cumbersome, inefficient gait, optimised to prevent them falling over, as opposed to being honed for speed.
By contrast, humans and animals are able to walk and run swiftly and smoothly, using the absolute minimum of energy. And roboticists want to know why. So Ph.D. student Geert Folkertsma at the University of Twente has built a robotic cheetah that he hopes can help optimise the robots of the future.