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Is The Future Full of Mechanical Beasts?

What will the future look like? This is a question many of us ask ourselves when confronted with amazing discoveries and inventions that seem to prop up almost every day. One area that is developing rapidly is the one science fiction writers have been talking about for decades: The robots. But while most sci-fi writers focused on human looking robots, it seems that most of the development right now is about animal-looking robots, designed to imitate their natural counterparts. 

Here are four of the latest developments in animal robotics, and they include a dragonfly robot, a bird robot, a mule robot and even a cheetah robot!

With the BionicOpter, Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Just like its model in nature, this ultralight flying object can fly in all directions, hover in mid-air and glide without beating its wings.

SmartBird is an ultralight but powerful flight model with excellent aerodynamic qualities and extreme agility. With SmartBird, Festo has succeeded in deciphering the flight of birds - one of the oldest dreams of humankind. This bionic technology-bearer, which is inspired by the herring gull, can start, fly and land autonomously - with no additional drive mechanism. Its wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles.

.U.S. military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency latest robotic mule-like device. This robot mule is designed to follow a person, carrying on it equipment too heavy for people to carry, and do it in any terrain, including rocky areas, woodlands, and even across rivers. It has a special balancing system that is patented by the US army, and was originally designed to accompany soldiers

Cheetah Robot is a fast-running quadruped developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA. It just blazed past its previous speed record, getting up to 28.3 mph, about 0.5 mph faster than Usain Bolt's fastest 20 meter split, making it faster than the fastest man on earth. This one, we have to say, is a bit scary, and we hope it is never used to run people down...

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