In 2005, Boston Dynamics unveiled its robot "mule," Big Dog
. Now it has a smaller, nimbler littermate called Spot that can take a good kick. Weighing in at 160 lb (72.5 kg), the electrically-powered, hydraulically-actuated, four-legged robot made its debut in a YouTube video released by the company on Tuesday.
Like a teenager going off to college, DARPA's Atlas robot has cut the tether and is walking on its own without a safety line. The centerpiece of this year's DARPA Robotics Challenge
(DRC), the upgraded Atlas robot was unveiled to the competing teams in Waltham, Massachusetts last week during a technical shakeout.
The goal of DARPA's multi-year Robotics Challenge is to develop robots capable of reducing the danger of rescue and relief to victims and first responders alike. Next month DARPA will pit rescue robots against a series of tasks that represent disaster scenarios.
Boston Dynamics, the company behind DARPA's most advanced legged robots such as PETMAN, BigDog, and Atlas, has unveiled the free-roaming version of their sprinting robot Cheetah. The new robot is called WildCat, and it's already galloping at speeds up to 16 mph (25.7 km/h) on flat ground. You don't want to miss the video tucked after the break.
DARPA has revealed the completed ATLAS humanoid robot, which is to star in the upcoming DARPA Robotics Challenge
(DRC) – and it cuts a striking figure. Designed by Boston Dynamics (the guys behind the BigDog
, and LS3
quadrupeds), it's being given to the top teams that recently competed in the Virtual Robotics Challenge
(VRC). Now those teams have less than six months to fine tune their software with the real robot before they face the first of two live challenges.
Back in late 2009 Boston Dynamics revealed it was working on a humanoid robot that would test protective clothing for the military. Having already amazed the world three years earlier with the lifelike balancing capabilities of its quadruped BigDog
, this would be the company's first bipedal robot. It was an ambitious project, but it appears the work has paid off. The robot's eerily realistic body movements are made all the more convincing now that its mechanical nature is hidden by a chemical protection suit.
Boston Dynamics' BigDog may have already been replaced by the beefier LS3
, but that doesn't mean it's totally obsolete. Today the company unveiled a version of the quadruped equipped with an arm where a head (or tail) would go. As can be seen in the following video, it's powerful enough to lift and toss a heavy cinder block.
The U.S. military's drones – or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – were probably the most talked about robots of 2012. Every other week it seemed there was some story or other that grabbed headlines around the world, giving them a rather nasty reputation. However, robotics technology is about much more than just killing machines and here are ten noteworthy examples from the past year that prove it.
DARPA's robotic pack mule, the Legged Squad Support System
(or LS3 for short) is now following orders and its master, going where no robot has gone before. In a recently published video, the impressive quadruped robot developed by Boston Dynamics climbs up and down hills, scrambles over logs, bobs and weaves through woods, and even takes an impromptu dip in a bog before leaving the obstacle-ridden forest and picking up the pace. Video after the break.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has published concept artwork depicting the robots that will compete in its ambitious DARPA Robotics Challenge
(DRC). The DRC will require robots to drive a car, travel through rubble, open doors, climb ladders, manipulate tools, and more. However, due to the current limitations in artificial intelligence, the robots will be teleoperated by a team of people behind the scenes. The idea is to advance robotics technology so that humans won't have to put their lives at risk in future disaster scenarios.