"BigDog" Walks on any Terrain, Shockingly Creepy Gait (Video)
2008 03 19
By Gerry Block | gear.ign.com
From an enthusiast's point of view, the Japanese and Koreans have seemed to dominate the modern robotics field in recent times. Honda's ASIMO is world famous, both for walking up, and falling down, flights of stairs, and both nations have displayed the results of highly active academic programs tasked with building increasingly lifelike robots designed to help the elderly and teach children in schools. Such programs are great for public relations, and are key to easing the public's fears of a future in which robots will be ubiquitous and in constant interaction with humans.
America isn't ignoring the developing robotics revolution, but as one might guess, our creations aren't the type that'll be playing with toddlers and finding the TV remote for grandma. Indeed, ours are being designed for fields quite removed from playgrounds, which is to say, the fields of battle. DARPA has been leveraging a serious budget to develop a wide range of technologies that will become part of the Army's Future Combat System, and today, new footage of the product of a $10-million R&D grant and some genius engineering by Boston Dynamics has been released.
The company's BigDog robot is a quadruped platform designed to help ground infantry cover longer distances by carrying a stockpile of their gear, thereby lightening the 60- to 90-pound loads soldiers currently carry on their backs. What makes the BigDog unique, and also quite frightening, is Boston Dynamic's application of biologically-inspired movement, balance, and obstacle avoidance systems that, working together, make the BigDog appear horrifying lifelike as it walks over just about any terrain a human on foot could potentially tackle.
Nothing, it would seem, can unbalance the BigDog, be it a solid kick to the side or a slippery patch of ice or snow. The mannerisms of the BigDog AI's movements in stumbling and then recovering could well be those of a deer's natural instincts, which is a pretty serious advance in relation to the usual robot attitude of falling over and then continuing to try to walk why lying face down.
The newest BigDog prototype shown in the video is significantly improved over previous versions and is now capable of carrying up to 340-pounds of equipment. The bot has also gained the ability to jump, which is also pretty scary looking. There's no word on when final products could be fielded, but some Future Combat Systems are expected to enter service as early as 2012. We expect a Fox special, "When Good BigDogs Go Bad" shortly thereafter, followed by the Great Robot Wars of 2023.
Article From: http://gear.ign.com/articles/860/860123p1.html
Robot Demonstrates Self Awareness
Pentagon Prepares To Build $130bn Robot Army
US robot builds copies of itself
Emotion robots learn from people
Warbots to Replace Human Soldiers?
Pentagon plans cyber-insect army
New Super-Gun from Metal Storm Inc.
Toyota to introduce home robots by 2010 (Video)
Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs
Brain Machine Interfaces
'We'll be able to upload our brains to a computer'
Robots, Cyborgs & A.I. Articles
Pentagon to Global Cities -- Drop Dead
Remote Control Rodent 'Ratbots' Pass First Tests
On nanotechnology, experts see more risks than public
Electromagnetic Weapons, Mind Control, New Technology & Animal Recruits
Latest News from our Front Page
Slaves of Charleston - Beyond Wealth of Jewish South Carolina
2014 09 15
Founded in 1749 in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Beth Elohim Synagogue is one of the very earliest synagogues in America. While other synagogues and congregations are also now a part of Charleston city life, Beth Elohim Synagogue is the oldest one in the area and serves as the repository for certain historical artifacts of Jewish life in the city. ...
Martian meteorite yields more evidence of the possibility of life on Mars
2014 09 15
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists.
The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition ...
Swedish Surprise: Anti-Immigration Party Surges...
2014 09 15
Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt
Sunday’s election in Sweden was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Left. The Drudge Report ran a piece yesterday from the Guardian entitled: “Free-market era in Sweden swept away as feminists and greens plot new path.” The paper, a left-wing British outlet, published the piece the day before the election; it proved to be, well, ...
UK School to fingerprint students to ‘monitor their diets’
2014 09 15
STOURBRIDGE, England – A school is implementing a biometric system to better track what students are eating each day.
The Express & Star reports students at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England will be fingerprinted in an attempt to reduce lunch lines and “monitor pupils’ diets.”
The system requires pupils to press a finger against a machine which converts the print into ...
U.S. State Department Orders 160,000 Ebola Hazmat Suits
2014 09 15
The U.S. State Department has ordered 160,000 Hazmat suits for Ebola, prompting concerns that the federal government is anticipating the rapid spread of a virus that has already claimed an unprecedented number of lives.
In a press release posted by Market Watch, Lakeland Industries, a manufacturer of industrial protective clothing for first responders, announced that it had signaled its intention “to ...
|More News » |