Boston Dynamics has just released a brand new video of their DARPA-funded Big Dog robot. Big Dog, the older brother of the Little Dog robot we covered a while back, is meant to be a “pack mule” for soldiers some day. Behind Big Dog is some pretty cool force-controlled technology. With its quadruped gait it can regain balance if it’s kicked, handle rough terrain like rocks, and climb inclines up to 35 deg.
In this new video, in addition to some footage from previous videos, you can see it handling slippery ice, slopes in deep snow, and demoing its new walking gait. About halfway through is the ice part — this thing is better than I am at regaining balance. There’s also a demo of it carrying a 340 lb load, much heavier than it has managed in the past.
As a still frame, it looks unsettlingly like an Imperial Probe Droid. In motion, it descends further into the Uncanny Valley – its organic movements and sense of balance make it seriously look like a headless organic lifeform.
I’m both impressed and creeped out… :p