Usain Bolt might have taken home the 100 meters gold medal from the recent London 2012 Olympics, but things could have been different had DARPA’s Cheetah robot been allowed in the field. Living up to DARPA's original goal of developing a robot that could outrun any human
, the quadruped robot has set a new robotic land speed record of 28.3 mph (45.5 km/h) for a 20-meter (65.6 ft) split, bettering Bolt’s human speed record by 0.52 mph (0.8 km/h).
Fans of freaky-looking robots will already be familiar with DARPA’s quadruped Legged Squad Support System, or LS3
(although it’s also known as Big Dog by its builder, Boston Dynamics). Yesterday, two prototypes of an improved version of the LS3 were demonstrated, and DARPA has posted the video to show off what’s new.
When we first spied Sandia National Laboratories' Precision Urban Hopper Robot
back in 2009 it employed combustion-driven pistons to propel it into the air and allow it to clear obstacles. In the same year Sandia handed development of the jumping robot over to Boston Dynamics, the company behind robots including PETMAN
. Now known as Sand Flea, Boston Dynamics has released new video of the robot showcasing an updated jumping mechanism.
It's been a very little over a year since Boston Dynamics was awarded a contract to develop a high-speed robotic quadruped by DARPA, but already the defense tech research agency's investment is bearing fruit, having announced that its CHEETAH
galloping quadruped robot has broken the land speed record for robots with legs.
If you were tasked with testing clothing that was designed to protect soldiers from chemical weapons, it goes without saying that you wouldn't dress an actual person up in those clothes, then fire chemicals at them. If you just put those clothes on an inanimate mannequin, however, it wouldn't provide any information on how effective those clothes were when in motion, or in a wide variety of body positions. Well, that's where Boston Dynamics' PETMAN (Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin) humanoid robot comes in. The self-balancing clothes-testing machine can walk, run, crouch, and even do push-ups. Today, PETMAN's creators released the first-ever public video of the robot being put through its paces - and it's pretty impressive.
It would be scary to be chased by a military robot. It would also be scary to be chased by a cheetah. So, imagine what it would be like to have a military robotic cheetah sprinting after you. Such a scenario could one day be possible, as robotics company Boston Dynamics
recently announced that America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA
) has awarded it a contract to design and build such a ... critter. The contract also includes the creation of an agile, bipedal humanoid robot. It’s hard to say which one might ultimately be creepier.
are being cast to play a major role in the rapidly unfolding age of robotics. The platform promises versatility far beyond that of wheeled-vehicles and will undoubtedly find applications in a wide variety of fields. Not surprisingly, the development of quadrupeds is being driven by the military and DARPA
has recently boosted its efforts by awarding Boston Dynamics $32 million for the prototype phase of its Legged Squad Support System (LS3) program.
The military potential of robotics has long been one of the primary driving forces in the funding of research and development in the field. Aerial UAVs transformed armed conflict so dramatically that a new wave of robotic military capabilities are being readied for the battlefield in the hope of providing a similar competitive edge. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) recently began showing a battery-powered robotic beast of burden which can carry up to 200 kilograms, run three days without a recharge, and follow and respond to the voice commands of its master. Though designed for use on the battlefield, REX has myriad commercial applications in agriculture, manufacturing, and beyond.
August 19, 2008 We’ve written about Boston Dynamics’s BigDog Quadruped Robot before
, but felt it was worth updating given there’s an impressive new video out showing the incredible beastie doing its stuff. BigDog is a gasoline-powered, hydraulically-actuated quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs over almost any terrain. Watch
BigDog get kicked heavily and recover, walk across ice, rocks and incredibly, carry twice its weight while doing it. The DARPA-funded robot is chock full of technology, squeezing gyroscopes, a bunch of sensors and its own stereo vision system into a weight of just 75 kg.