The BigDog pack animal robot developed by Boston Dynamics is surprising in its capability already, able to carry hundreds of pounds through rugged natural terrain with little more instruction from its human operator than “follow tight”. Now they’ve added an arm, and using the substantial strength of the legs and torso, it can hurl heavy objects surprising distances. Its best toss so far is about seventeen feet. The idea is that it’s supposed to be able to clear its own path or do other heavy jobs, but it’s not hard to imagine it being used offensively.
Boston Dynamics has been developing BigDog and other sophisticated robots under funding from the Army Research Laboratory’s RCTA program, and was recently bought by Google.
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