Unlike actual cheetahs, which have a top speed of up to 75 miles per hour, the robotic mini cheetah’ can run only about around 9 miles per hour. But both have what Kim calls “physical intelligence.”

“People don’t realize how difficult it is to stay balanced,” he explained. To keep itself upright, the mini cheetah has to make more 30 decisions per second, Kim said. That versatility, and resilience if it falls, are what make this robot special–and very good at backflips.

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