Anyone remember the movie Westworld?  Got this video a few days back from a fellow technologist.  Makes me both proud to be a geek, and terrified for the future of mankind…

If i encountered this beast romping through the woods?  i’d leave a ‘big dog’ in my shorts.  Especially if he’s fully loaded and buzzing like an industrial joy-toy on steroids…

Now, if there are any among you that didn’t feel a twinge of “hey, that’s not nice” when BigDog got a boot in the ribs, i’d be surprised.  Conversely, if there are any among you who didn’t snort out loud when he hit the ice, then you don’t have the schadenfreude chromosome.  When i first saw it, i laughed so hard, i think i might have peed a little*…

The BigDog is autonomous, not run by joystick**.  Can’t you hear him telling his grandkids “In my day, we had to run up 35 degree inclines, in the snow, carrying 340lbs.  And we were thankful.  You young whipper-snapper robots are spoiled…”

In the end, the geeks shall inherit the earth – with their invasion gear carried by robotic mules***.  For more on Boston Dynamics, BigDog and their other robo-pets, check out their website.  Technology ain’t for wimps.  These guys have done something magical…


* At my age, allergy season is an adventure.

** Despite the fact that he sounds like one.

*** Which is a good thing because your garden variety member of the nerd-herd can’t carry more than a lunch sack with a Peanut Butter – Marshmallow Fluff on Wonder Bread sandwich, and a Butterscotch Pudding cup.

24 thoughts on “Robo-dawg

  1. unbearable banishment – reading more on the DARPA stuff, it seems the army needs rugged transport for difficult terrain. these puppies (tee hee) run on gasoline, which might be easier to deal with than batteries, although the noise would be a dead giveaway if you’re trying to be sneaky!

  2. i’m surprised there’s not a “Robo-PETA” group up in arms about the mistreatment of Mr. RoboDawg… kicking a poor, defenseless robot… what’s next? Voting Republican? Heaven help us…

  3. Dude, that thing is friggin’ CREEPY. I’m going to have nightmares now. *shudder*
    However, it’s just the sort of thing my tech readers love over at Firefox so I think I’ll write them up. They like creepy. 🙂

  4. That is FUCKING AWESOME! Just imagine the work that went into coding that thing. Four independent legs that work together and enable movement over rough terrain, snow and ice. Not too mention its recovery under a heavy load when on slippery or unsure footing (even when the guy kicked it to put it off balance). And it can jump too. Amazing. I bet that thing is more sure footed than a rocky mountain goat.

    Kind of reminds me of the mechanical “Hound” from Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

  5. Hmmm, I always thought the writers got it one letter wrong in that “inherit the earth” thing. Actually, I can think of all kinds of applications for this thing, including rescue. If it can carry 340 lbs, you could strap a stretcher on it and carry a victim uphill.

  6. I’m beginning to wonder when the *addendums* are going to be longer than the posts and then I suppose they might need some clarification as well – still, it’ll make for a very artistic page.

    Anyway – cool bot.

  7. I meant robot of course, …….. not your ………… oh never mind ………I’m sure it’s quite lovely of course ……….. you know …… your ………. oh dear ……… LOOK, A SPIDER!!!!!

  8. gnu – i suspect Bio Dynamics has been picketed more than once. And those kids who made Blair Witch Project? They’ve been spotted in the woods behind the facility…

    awalkabout – creepy, yet mesmerizing! sometimes it even looks like two guys wearing fur-legs, bent over and carrying stuff on their backs! but it’s not fake. i do believe in BigDog!

    annie – i sure wouldn’t want to run into it alone. imagine a ‘herd’ of these, buzzing along, carrying a mobile army’s rations/gear? how scary would that be to the enemy?

    rob – [schwing!] You get it! The sensor-computer loop and code for this creepy li’l bugger is beyond awesome! it’s quick, too… solar powered? that’d be rockin’… check out LittleDog from the website. looks like a robo-roach!

    silverstar – what? “inhibit”? that’s two… i’m stumped… and yep, rescue/recovery would be another cool use for the critter.

    DP – if i could write better, i wouldn’t need the addendums. or, maybe if i could simply think in a linear fashion. but then again, there was a time when dinosaurs footnoted the earth… hey! look! a butterfly!

    DP – my addenda are perky, fun and provide a nice distraction from the main body. be careful or i’ll ship an armed robo-spider across the pond. my ‘evil spider of justice’, Bwa-ha-ha-haaaaaa! (really gotta work on my evil laugh….perhaps a voice coach?)

    kyknoord – they can be defeated with a really big magnet, a klieg light and some sugar in the gas tank. makes a nice end table when they lock up! is that “dual use”?

    practically joe – oooooh! that would take some work, but i suspect these guys could do it! just another $1M, and i’m sure it could be done…

    alex – but it’s so right? that’s why it’s creepy! the leg articulation – looks like a little moose to me. i’ve got a 90 lb brown dog, and the resemblence is uncanny. except that the robo-mutt would probably come when i called it…

    nm – yes, dear! i’ve put one in the post… we’ll make you an honorary nerd-for-a-day. at least until friday 🙂

  9. That’s pretty friggin’ sweet! Wouldn’t that be great to ambush old folks in a park. They couldn’t hear that high pitched whine of the engine, and it wouldn’t be quite fast enough to run down their rascals. You could have epic chases.

  10. silverstar – nah. not gonna sue you… just going to send my scary-ass robot thingie out to mess with your head! 🙂

    tNb – i watched it again at work today, and still laugh when it hits the ice patch.

    uk – as always, i like the way you think! RoboDawg vs Jazzy Scooter! Woo hoo!

  11. Ha, I’m not scared of it, I want one. The thing would make a great service dog robot for when the inevitable happens to Friday. I may have never worked in a geeky industry, but that’s only because I’m ten years too old. I’m a geek at heart.

  12. But it prances… just imagine being in a snowy forrest you hear that noise then turn around and theres this prancing robot.

    I just watched it again and figured out what it reminds me of, you know those giant rabbit things from the Henson movie, the Dark Crystal… creepy, very cool, but just creepy, Still I wanna ride it.

  13. You know – you’ve got to be thankful that the brilliant scientists and bad movie directors. That they are more Stephen Hawkish and less like the nameless faceless people who made DEATH RACE 2000 (staring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone) or Battlefield Earth (John tRavolting).

  14. silverstar – that could be another use for the daggone thing: service ‘bot. and when Epona is having a rough time? you could even ride it!

    alex – agree about the Henson bunnies. and the prancing? my favorite part, right after it fall on it’s little robo-ass on the ice, of course!

    dolce – nobody would mess with ya, that’s for shizzle…

    empress de stank – it’s all a function of time and money. if you throw enough money at a problem, you can pretty much build anything if you’ve got enough time…

    MdW – Gotta love the geek squad! I’m kinda wondering what it cost, all together… at leasta million dollars would be a good guess…

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