Monday, September 15, 2008

More News about BigDog


"Now, robodog to be the latest weapon! "

"...Modern battlefields may soon resemble something out of a science fiction flick, thanks to advances in robotics. And, the latest weapon to be unveiled is the robodog -- four-legged, petrol-powered robots.

Scientists have developed the 'BigDog', billed as "the most advanced quadruped robot on Earth", which they claim is able to carry up to four packs of military equipment on awkward terrain unsuitable for vehicles.

Standing at over 2ft tall and more than 3ft long, BigDog comes equipped with all manner of high-tech gadgets, including laser gyroscopes, a video camera sensor system and a sophisticated on-board computer, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

"Some of the wars we're engaged in now happen to have that kind of terrain. The idea is to look at the way nature has solved different robotics problems," Robert Mandelbaum, the Project Manager at Boston Dynamics, was quoted as saying.

According to the scientists, who have developed the robodog for the US Army, the 11-stone machine can trot along at up to four mph and would even stay on its legs when it is kicked hard in the side -- but, sadly, no wagging tail.

In fact, its legs are designed to work in a similar way to a real dog's, even storing energy in shock absorbers when a foot touches the ground.

The 14-million-pound BigDog project is currently being tested across a five-mile trail used to train the US Marine Corps, carrying the soldiers' equipment to prove that it can cope with holes, steep slopes and water hazards.

However, the scientists are also planning to use the technology for non-military purposes..."