Robot Dog Better Than Any St. Bernard Ever Was!

BigDog - Here, buddy!

BigDog - Here, buddy!

At TheologyWeb this afternoon, someone posted a link to the Boston Dynamics website – specifically to their page on BigDog – a quadruped robot they are developing (presumably for good).  The website will begin to run video of this awesome thing in action upon your arrival.  So, if you’re sitting in your cubicle, turn down your volume!  BigDog runs on a gasoline engine and sounds like a giant, bee-powered riding lawnmower on crack!  That aside, you’re not likely to find more fascinating video this week.  Okay, I know, it’s Friday, but I mean the whole next week!

Since I’m sending you right to the website where I’d get any information for this blog, I won’t be redundant.  Just go check it out.  The video shows BigDog in several scenarios, both in the workshop and in the field, and I’ve got to say, he does better than I would in most cases!  I’ve assigned him gender because I have a 5-month-old puppy who is an awesome black Lab named Benjamin and for no other reason.  Well, BigDog does look rather masculine.  Anyway, I digress. You’ll see him trotting through the woods, down the street, on ice, in the snow, and navigating a pile of cinderblocks.  At one point, someone gives him a good shove so you can see how he recovers from something like that.  Since I’m watching my new pup develop with the keen eye of a hovering parent, I am awestruck at how closely BigDog resembles the movements of a dog.  In fact, his movements are so incredibly lifelike, I found myself wanting to pet him!  Who could resist that face?

Also featured at Boston Dynamics is LittleDog, who looks like a giant scarab mated with an Electrolux, but still gets the job done impressively.  I had no desire to pet LittleDog.  And, speaking of robot bugs, it gets creepier.  There’s RiSE, the vertical climber with interchangeable feet for different surfaces.  Finally, there’s RHex, which doesn’t have much anthropomorphism going for it, but can be easily transported by a person and then sent into all sorts of places he might not want to go.  RHex navigates rubble, stairs, water, and more…and has the added bonus of being available in several colors!  I was fond of the Camaro red!

The bottom line here is that I totally expect us to have Osama bin Laden in our grasp within, say, a week after the Army gets these guys.

Peace, y’all!

Joel 2:21 Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the Lord has done marvelous things! 22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; For the open pastures are springing up, And the tree bears its fruit; The fig tree and the vine yield their strength. 23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God…


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