New Arm Allows Military Robot BigDog to Hurl Cinderblocks Like a Champ

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Periodically, Boston Dynamics releases video documenting its robotic protégé BigDog’s development. Prior BigDog hits include video of it walking, running, and toting heavy loads. We can now add to the list video of BigDog hurling cinderblocks with a giant pincher-equipped arm where its head ought to be.

What’s the point of this latest exercise? According to Boston Dynamics, the goal is to “use the strength of the legs and torso to help power motions of the arm [mimicking the] dynamic, whole-body approach to manipulation…used routinely by human athletes.”

BigDog is just one of Boston Dynamics’ bizarre menagerie of robots. Cheetah can outrun Usain Bolt; Sand Flea can leap tall buildings; PETMAN walks on two legs like a human. They’re some of the coolest robots in the world—and unfailingly provide a few minutes fascinated distraction at work:

Image Credit: Boston Dynamics/YouTube

Jason Dorrier
Jason Dorrier
Jason is editorial director of Singularity Hub. He researched and wrote about finance and economics before moving on to science and technology. He's curious about pretty much everything, but especially loves learning about and sharing big ideas and advances in artificial intelligence, computing, robotics, biotech, neuroscience, and space.
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