Check this out: Boston Dynamics Wildcat
Boston Dynamics posted a video of their Wildcat on Youtube bounding and galloping autonomously. At a speed of 16mph. Two thoughts. First, they should enter the 2014 Sparkfun AVC.
Second, I'm incredibly curious about what's involved. Balancing, leg placement. Sounds like an utterly fascinating topic to explore.
Do their robots teach themselves how to balance (like that kid from my alma mater that built a six-legged robot that teaches itself to walk)? Or is it carefully tuned, hardcoded, etc? Anyone know?