The Defence Department funded the sinister mechanical project, which reaches 28.3 mph (see the video below) and was created by Boston Dynamics for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Slightly detracting from their achievements, the company said “Keep in mind that the Cheetah robot runs on a treadmill without wind drag and has an off-board power supply that it does not carry. So Bolt is still the superior athlete.”

Watch out though, your Terminator-style metallic nightmare is far from over – Dr Alfred Rizzi from Boston Dynamics said “We are building an outdoor version that we call WildCat, that should be ready for testing early next year.”

Usian Bolt reached a top speed of 27.8 mph during a 100 metre race in 2009.

Image: Darpa/Boston Dynamics/YouTube