You have got to see this to believe it! (Kudos to Emily and Alex for bringing it to my attention.) A company called Boston Dynamics has developed this robot and others “that have rough-terrain mobility that can take them anywhere on Earth that people and animals can go.”
Instead of being remotely controlled, BigDog is loaded up with sensors in an on-board computer that enable it to react to its environment and adjust accordingly. If it slides on ice, BigDog bends its legs and steps around to keep its ground better than many humans could. It can walk through snow, up hills, on ice, over rocks or rubble piles, and can run and jump over obstacles. It’s all in the video.
According to Boston Dynamic’s website,
“BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behavior to keep it balanced, steer, navigate, and regulate energetics as conditions vary. 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.”
So, will humanity use this technology for good…or for evil? One last bit of food for thought- if this is the technology that they don’t mind having splattered all over the Internet and explained, what greater technology are they yet to unvale to the public? Not to be overly Orwellian, but this is as freaky as it is cool.