BigDog Robass More Coordinated Than I Am

A new video of BigDog, the quadrupedal robot, has been released by creator Boston Robotics. In this amazing video, Big Dog is viciously pushed by aggressive humans, forced to scramble across frozen puddles, urged to climb impossibly slippery, snowy slopes - in short, it's quite a test for an autonomous robot.


(Can Big Dog succeed in an autonomous scramble test?)

BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal's; it has compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. Its onboard computer controls locomotion and a variety of sensors. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system. BigDog now carries up to 340 pounds of gear.

This video of BigDog demonstrates how far roboticists have come in dealing with the problem of balance for autonomous pedal robots.

If you've read this far, you're probably wondering exactly what a robass is. In his exceptional 1951 short story The Quest for Saint Aquin, Anthony Boucher writes about an autonomous robot with articulated legs:

He... took his first opportunity to inspect the robass in full light. He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs, so necessary since roads had degenerated...

Thomas pulled off the skins and contemplated the sleek functional lines of the robass. Smiling, he stowed his minimal gear into its panniers and climbed into the foam saddle. The starlight was bright enough so he could check the necessary coordinates on his map and feed the data into the electronic controls...
(Read more about the robass)

Now if only they built a ReallyBigDog robot you could ride on...

Read more about BigDog, including some early sketches of the BigDog robot. Thanks to BajaB for pointing this great BigDog video out.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/17/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

SpotMini Robot Pierson's Puppeteer-Style
Now they're kind of cute, right?

Elon Musk et. al. OpenAI Household Robot
'Any work a human being does around a house.' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

Promobot, The Runaway Russian Robot!
'Got yourself a runaway, Jack?' - Michael Crichton, 1985.

First Robot Suicide Has Science Fiction Roots
'What had happened to prevent my death?' - Eando Binder, 1940.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Brick By Brick, Building Martian Bases
Don't try to boost everything from the surface of the Earth.

SpotMini Robot Pierson's Puppeteer-Style
Now they're kind of cute, right?

Elon Musk et. al. OpenAI Household Robot
'Any work a human being does around a house.'

BRUISE Smart Injury Detection Suit
'... Bee could see that three of them were disabled and two of them damaged.'

Tesla Model S Is Also A Boat (Sort Of)
'This Dick Dare contraption of yours...'

Promobot, The Runaway Russian Robot!
'Got yourself a runaway, Jack?'

Rowbot Small Autonomous Farm Robot
'...The tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.'

Amazon's Alexa To Recognize Emotions
Oh, Hal understood their emotions, all right.

Cool 'Single-Person Spaceships' Have Better SF Name
'A cabin so small, you couldn't stand up with the air lock closed..'

First Robot Suicide Has Science Fiction Roots
'What had happened to prevent my death?'

First US Clinical Trial For Wearable Artificial Kidney
'Wholly mechanical organs...'

Open Bionics To Produce Deus Ex Prosthetic Designs
Be a part of a science fictional future.

Human-Carrying Drone Taxi 184 Approved For Test Flights
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble...'

Skating On Mars' Frozen Pools
'They went down, put on their skates, and started.'

Google Working On A 'Cutoff Switch' For AI
'A remote control, so you can pull the plug on Hal whenever you want to.'

Vi Artificially Intelligent Personal Trainer
Wakey wakey!

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.