Switching to Blender Internal isn’t an easy solution. BI materials are totally alien when all you know is Cycles.
First, one tip: When you render an animation, type #frame as value for the Seed. It randomizes the noise. (That makes things already less ugly.)
Next, your light is really too strong. Strong, small and pure white lights are great sources of noise. Reduce the strength to no more than 50 (And that’s already a lot in my books!) and increase to Exposure to compensate eventually. Or else you can try a sun… or to use RGB curves in the Compositor. And don’t forget the Clamp setting. It’s not only for the fireflies, it also prevents Cycles from pumping too much light into your scene and from creating more noise.
As for the speed, there are a lot of things to take in consideration but I’d concentrate on the “weight” of the mesh first. You’re not filming ants crawling inside a haystack so… 32 vertices for the cylinders, that’s way too much. 8 are enough. 12 are already quite a waste for such a distant view. Remove also all the hidden faces and useless edge loops. You’re animating a mechanical character so forget about the perfectly square quads. Use only edge loops to tighten your mesh at the edges and to make the Subsurf modifier behave. Subsurf modifier which must be used reasonably. No need to crank up the level up to 5 if you can’t tell the difference with the level 2. (Especially for something in motion.) And if you use the Subsurf to hide some imperfections in your mesh, fix your mesh instead. A few edge loops are much lighter than a level of Subsurf. (I do that sometimes…)
Last but not least, simply your materials. A heavy node tree can slow down Cycles… drastically! Subtleties and tiny details are lost in an animation. Don’t bother.
Also, since your scene is rather empty, use “Spatial Split” at least. It really works. To switch to “Limited Global Illumination” and to reduce the bounces can help too. Even “Direct Light” can be enough if you compensate the absence of the global illumination with a slightly colored sun. (It will work well with your open scene, IMHO.)
That’s all I can think of for the moment.