The robot dog is not to be trifled with.
The robot dog, which was developed US scientists to follow soldiers into battle like a pack mule and carry their gear over rough terrain, can now throw a cinder block (and who knows what else) with a fifth appendage where its head should be. See video below.
The mechanical canine, a.k.a. BigDog, is being developed by Boston Dynamics through funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
As The Inquisitrhas previously reported, the voice-activated mechanical hounds (and apparently two of them have been completed) are officially called Legged Squad Support Systems. The modern military fighter can be forced to carry more than 100 pounds of gear, resulting in fatigue and degraded performance. Decreasing the weight load of a dismounted solider was a major focus of the defense research and development which went into creating the Legged Squad Support Systems. According to DARPA, physical overburden is one of the top five science and technology challenges facing the Army today, and the robot dog and carry upwards of 300 pounds of gear.
According to PCWorld, BigDog can handle big challenges:
“The four-legged robot can run, climb terrain including a muddy trail and slopes up to 35 degrees, and walk over rubble and through snow and water. BigDog has also traversed 12.8 miles non-stop without refueling, a world record for legged vehicles.”
NBC News reports that the robot dog can “walk up to 3 miles per hour over rocky terrain and transition to a 5-mile-per-hour jog on a flat surface.”
But this new capability would allow the robot dog to take on additional functions, PCWorld explains, such as “someday [it] be used in search and rescue operations, or for clearing debris in dangerous or unstable situations.”
Are you impressed with the way the robotic BigDog can toss a hunk of concrete with ease? Can you visualize any offensive military functions for the robot dog?