If you saw a giant robotic dog throwing breeze blocks around the place you would get pretty scared, wouldn’t you?
Well, you better stay away from the research centre and testing grounds of Boston Dynamics then. One of the robots they are developing looks kind of like a dog and is quite big, so they cleverly named it BigDog.
The development of the device has been backed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and they have been working on it since back in 2005.
It is just one of the machines which they are working on a Boston Dynamics and the Cheetah sounds even scarier than this one. It is described as a headless robot which can run faster than a human being, at 28.3 mph.
A Military Robot
Anyway, back to BigDog. The initial idea behind this robot was to use it for military purposes such as carrying heavy loads. Presumably it would catch and crush enemy soldiers as well, as a robot which only lifts heavy things doesn’t sound particularly military minded.
Experts in the field have said that there is a lot of potential for using the BigDog technology in other areas as well. One example of a possible use comes with the idea of sending out a robotic dog to search for people who have gone missing in dangerous conditions such as in bad weather or extremely remote mountainous areas.
The robot is, as you might have guessed, the size of a large canine, although it has also been described as being like a small mule. SmallMule probably wasn’t considered a good enough name for it.
The legs move like an animal’s legs and are great at absorbing shock. In the video which the developers produced we can see it lift up a breeze block and throw it away.