Whenever we write about a new robot, we jokingly talk about them taking over the world. This latest offering from MIT, however, poses no such fictitious threat, with the new Mini Cheetah capable of doing backflips.

As for what purpose such a function would have in the real world is unclear, but it’s still enjoyable to watch in the video that MIT released to accompany the announcement, which we’ve pasted below.

Speaking about the design of the Mini Cheetah, MIT’s researchers note that this 9 kilogram robot is created with the intention of being “indestructible” and having the ability to recover from any knocks it may take in the field.

To that end the Mini Cheetah could prove quite useful when it comes to surveying disaster areas, or zones where humans simply cannot fit. Added to this MIT’s researchers note that the robot is also designed with modularity in mind, with each of its four legs powered by components that can be easily swapped out if damaged.

“You could put these parts together, almost like Legos,” says Benjamin Katz, a technical associate in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“A big part of why we built this robot is that it makes it so easy to experiment and just try crazy things, because the robot is super robust and doesn’t break easily, and if it does break, it’s easy and not very expensive to fix,” he adds.

MIT is currently making more of these Mini Cheetah robots, and plans to have a set of 10 to show off at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in May.

If they, as well as places like Boston Dynamics, can make less menacing and practical robots like the Mini Cheetah, perhaps the uprising won’t be too bad.

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.