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Robot Dog

By Shamus
on Monday Mar 17, 2008
Filed under:


The robot spider from last Friday? Bah. That’s nothing compared to the Robot Dog:

Finally, a dog you can kick without guilt. That buzzing noise has gotta go, though.

Comments (38)

  1. Martin says:

    The part where it slips on ice and recovers without falling is something I’ve never seen before.

  2. Nilus says:

    It must be powered by bees or something

  3. Henebry says:

    Powered by a small 2-stroke engine, like the sort which powers model airplanes or gas-fueled weed-whackers.

  4. Kimari says:

    We are all doomed, blah blah blah, robots will overcome humans, blah blah blah, Bin Laden is an alien, blah blah blah. Yes, we know know, and I for one welcome our Big Dog overlords.
    Seriously though, I guarantee that this will be the next big transportation device. Flying cars are overrated.
    [/not serious at all]

  5. kanthalion says:

    you won’t think they’re so cool when a pack of them are persuing you across the moors after your daring escape from work camp B-365 Alpha.

  6. FhnuZoag says:

    That thing reminds me of something out of Silent Hill. Really, really creepy.

  7. Davesnot says:

    after they’ve pursued me across the moors for 20 minutes I’ll stop and let them rip my head off so I don’t have to hear the incessant buzzing…

    Say! That’s what it really is.. it’s the replacement to waterboarding!! MAKE IT STOP!..PLEASE.. ANYTHING.. JUST MAKE IT STOP.

  8. Tango says:

    It seems easy to outrun…

  9. scragar says:

    It seems easy to outrun…

    sure, easy to outrun, till you consider that it moves so easily over so many enviroments, that you will need to rest, and that it’s carrying 300lb strapped to it’s body as if it was nothing.
    Ph33r teh robot masters!

  10. scragar says:

    ooh erk, you done anything to the edit plugin shamus? it’s acting up for me, and never has before.

    Opera 9.25 incase you need to know it for testing/comparison.

  11. Xiphos says:

    Strap a saddle on it and ride in style!

  12. lxs says:

    A payload. It has it. Impressive.

    Maybe soldiers will have BigDogs to carry their LAWs in the future.
    Of course sergeants will then make the soldiers carry the LAWs *and* the BigDogs.

    Half-decent feet and sprung lower limbs will make this go plenty fast. You heard about the paralympic runner who was disqualified from a normal race, because his bladefeet gave an unfair advantage? Walking on ice is way harder than just running.

    Does it have a camera in it? Looks like it does, walking over the ‘collapsed building’ showed decision making imho as well as the dynamic reactions shown on ice.

  13. Alex says:

    Looks more like the terrible union of The Fly and one of those new two-legged Metal Gears.

  14. ArchU says:

    Including the buzzing noise that would make a really terrifying opponent in an horror-survival video game. (Well, it would need some blood soaked rags for covering. And armament). Eeep.

    I had no idea that simulated movement technology had come so far!

  15. Rebecca says:

    That. Is a four-legged wingless wasp. Thanks for the nightmare, Shamus.

  16. V says:

    Does it make me a bad person that I found it funny when it almost fell on the ice?

  17. Mr. Son says:

    Okay, the little robospider was really cute.

    But this thing? Creepy. As. Fsk. I was just going to bed, too. Now I’m going to have nightmares.

    Creepy, creepy thing.

  18. Alden says:

    Man, that’s creepy. Reality is catching up with science fiction at an incredible rate. :P

  19. That is astoundingly good. And yeah, the engine is necessary. Unfortunately, there just isn’t any alternative. A gas engine like that is small, cheap, powerful, and produces a lot of power for a small amount of cheap fuel. Batteries just don’t rate yet.

    The balance control on it is superb. The ice was an amazing test. DARPA has to be pleased.

  20. Kanthalion says:

    And as a kicker, it is funded in part by the department of defense! Skynet, anyone?

  21. Mephane says:

    Actually, I liked the spier way more. The dog’s abilities are impressive, but it can nowhere compete with the coolness of any spider- or insect-like robot. ;)

  22. Zaxares says:

    I found it slightly disturbing. Especially that buzzing noise. It’s like a giant, headless, wingless fly.

    And yet, I found myself feeling sorry for it when the guy kicked it. I’m a strange man.

  23. Looks like a giant wingless fly to me.

  24. Studoku says:

    That was impressive, especially how it survived being kicked without falling.

    Still easy to outrun in the right location though- find a cattle grid and cover it with paper.

  25. william says:

    does anyone else think it looks a bit CGI ish?

  26. Solka says:

    Ok. Now put a machine gun on that thing, and set them to hunt Bin Ladin.

    Just tell them to enter every cave of Afghanistan!

  27. Martin says:

    Mephane: but it can nowhere compete with the coolness of any spider- or insect-like robot.

    The spider immediately and irreversibly reminded me of the Tom Selleck/Gene Simmons police movie from the 80s.

    Runaway : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088024/

  28. Ringrose says:

    The head of Boston Dynamics (the company which makes Big Dog) was my thesis advisor. Earlier creations under his supervision include a two-legged robot which probably runs faster than you. And one which runs on a treadmill and does backflips.


    That’s dated because the Leg Lab has moved on, sad to say.

  29. Cadamar says:


    That is AWESOME!

    Now just swap out that little engine with a Honda CBR 1150, add a saddle and handle bars and let’s GO! Does anyone else see the possible answer to all of the environmentalists who hate offroading or trail-riding motorcycles?

    Then give it a horse head that breaths fire and I’ll have a mount worthy of a digitized general leading my artificial army against the meatsack, organic, neo-ludite skum that trully threaten the future of humanity.
    Think Post-human or don’t think at all.

    In all seriousness though, I am a little disappointed that the only US robotics research that even holds a candle to Japan is being done for military applications. Still… if the army starts deploying giant mecha then I’ll sign up to pilot…

  30. Ecnassianer says:

    All that money going to reinvent the mule… ;)

  31. Maroon says:

    Whoah, uncanny valley. The joints are wrong, but it just moves so life-like… very creepy.

  32. Jim says:

    Why do I keep thinking of Fido, the Rat-Thing?

  33. theonlymegumegu says:

    Man, every time it passed a tree I was waiting for it to “mark its territory” XD

  34. Chris Arndt says:

    The video is now gone! What did you DO?!

  35. Gary says:

    Wow! Awesome but creepy. You can’t tell if it is walking forward or back. The whole headless thing is really freaky. And yeah, it totally reminded me of something out of a horror movie/game. :D

    Amazing handling of complex environments though. :)

  36. Rawling says:

    I like the bit where it was dodging the white lines, and jumped over the yellow-lined box.

  37. Freggle says:

    I like the clover in the upper banner. I’m to late to wish you a nice St. Patricks day, but I hope not to late to tell I like clovers in general, and a clovers on good blogs in particular.
    Hope I’m not the only one who noted.

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