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

5,725

SH 77_#1 BIG

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 is managing editor of Singularity Hub. He cut his teeth doing research and writing about finance and economics before moving on to science, technology, and the future. He is curious about pretty much everything, and sad he'll only ever know a tiny fraction of it all.