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Boston Dynamics - BigDog

by March 19, 2008
More like the Terminator than a big dog!

More like the Terminator than a big dog!

Are you as mad as Michael Bay that last summer's big blockbuster movie didn't come out on Blu-ray? Maybe you are so sick of watching Transformers that you want your own robot with a chain gun mounted to its back so you can automate the destruction of your HD DVD movie collection. There might be a few of you who just appreciate the finer points in life (or movies) where Terminators and other such robots fighting mercilessly against each other. If so, then Boston Dynamics might have a solution for you.

Enter BigDog: YouTube Link

While Boston Dynamics might sound like the latest speaker or A/V hardware manufacturer, they are actually an engineering company that started in 1992 as a spin off from research being done at M.I.T. (of course) specializing in robotics and human simulation, Boston Dynamics has created several very interesting projects from the BigDog robot to DI-Guy human simulation software.

The BigDog project is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and surely has military application in mind. Hey, I just don't picture chain guns mounted to everything, like pop machines, bicycle racks, Michael Bay's SUV. Wait, he might actually have that... In any case, give a big geek cheer to the newest four legged pack mule who can climb slopes, recover from a good kick in the side, maneuver over ice like a graceful deer, climb over rubble, and even take a flying leap.

Of course, we're all holding out for a full-sized AT-AT walker that we can ride in - except this one's going to have plenty of neck armor and the ability to avoid getting its legs tangled up. What? We just believe in learning from the mistakes of others...

Be sure to check out the Boston Dynamics web site to see what other kinds of interesting robots our US tax dollars are being spent on. http://www.bostondynamics.com.

About the author:

Jim Robbins is, by profession, a computer programmer. His technology interests started back in 1989, when he became SysOp of his High School's BBS (anyone remember those?). Of course, as most intelligent and geeky high school students, he also loved video games. Those video games were a force driving him into self discovery as an audioholic!

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Recent Forum Posts:

Seth=L posts on March 20, 2008 20:53
Tom Andry, post: 390691
Yeah, that thing is weird. The way it moves is so real that I start feeling bad when it falls down and mad at that guy for trying to kick it over… and then I feel weird for feeling bad/mad… and then I feel scared that I'm actually watching the first in the T series of of man-hating machines…
That was my feeling exactly, I just can't explain why I would feel that way. It was the kicking and the slipping on ice that was bugging me out. The jump is pretty cool. The problem it seems to have is with inclines and declines.
Nomo posts on March 20, 2008 20:07
Tom Andry, post: 390691
Yeah, that thing is weird. The way it moves is so real that I start feeling bad when it falls down and mad at that guy for trying to kick it over… and then I feel weird for feeling bad/mad… and then I feel scared that I'm actually watching the first in the T series of of man-hating machines…

I say kill it now, before Sarah Conner turns from a Hot looking blond into a brunette MILF.
Tom Andry posts on March 20, 2008 10:54
Seth=L, post: 390440
I find that video to be very disturbing for some reason. I just had an erie feeling watching it.

Yeah, that thing is weird. The way it moves is so real that I start feeling bad when it falls down and mad at that guy for trying to kick it over… and then I feel weird for feeling bad/mad… and then I feel scared that I'm actually watching the first in the T series of of man-hating machines…
davo posts on March 20, 2008 02:51
That's freakin amazing. Stick a chair on it and a decent battery pack so you don't have the noisy motor and you will have a pretty cool ride.
The gopher of the 21st century!
Clint DeBoer posts on March 19, 2008 22:29
I want to get Matt34's take on it!
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