Last time we reported on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) here on Pocket-lint it was busy losing a $300 million aircraft at sea (probably).

But, rather than sit about crying over spilt milk, the clever bods at the US agency responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military have been hard at work developing this robot cheetah.

Yes, you read that correctly. A US defence agency working on a robot cheetah. Good luck to whatever country the US decides to bring freedom to next. Although there's no indication that the robo-cheetah will see military action. For now, it is content to run and run and run - like a cyborg feline version of Forrest Gump.

Reaching speeds of 18mph, DARPA is claiming it has broken land speed records for legged robots - the previous best was 13.1mph, set in 1989.

"The robot's movements are designed to mimic those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does," agency says.

"The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a laboratory treadmill where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump, and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the centre of the treadmill. Testing of a free-running prototype is planned for later this year."

A free-running robot cheetah. Not scary. Not scary at all.