Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Move over Aibo, BigDog's arrived!

Boston Dynamics reports: [edited]

BigDog is being developed with the goal of creating robots that have rough-terrain mobility that can take them anywhere on Earth that people and animals can go. The program is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).

BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animals, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next.

BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behaviour to keep it balanced, steer and navigate. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system.

Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, battery charge and others.

BigDog can 'run' at up to 4 mph, climb slopes up to 35 degrees and carry up to 340lb.

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Brett's 2p'orth:
Visit YouTube to see just how advanced this thing is. Assuming it isn't just two guys in black tights with a box over their heads. And be prepared for an anthropomorphic 'Awww...' moment as they test its (his/her?) balancing abilities.

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