Boston Dynamics Unveil BigDog Progress

BigDogs playing
Boston Dynamics released a new video of BigDog the other day. The improvements since last year’s demo are absolutely incredible. BigDog can now maneuver up and down rugged hills, balance on ice and jump. I’m not an avid fan of exclamation marks, but wow! In my honest opinion this quadruped is the most life-like robot made to date. Must-see video after the jump.

The New BigDog Video

Loving the Machine

It’s so interesting how most people I’ve talked to (and me myself) feel an emotional response when BigDog is slipping or being kicked. I felt like giving it a hand to balance on the ice — although on second thought I’m sure he’d crush me with his frantic maneuvers. The version of BigDog in the video weighs 106Kg (235 lbs).

The speed and agility of the feet give the fellow such natural (“messy instincts”) appearance that it’s hard to keep in mind it’s a machine. Unbelievable.

The control system depends heavily on internal state, awareness of joint positions, acceleration et cetera — which enables intelligent, real-time control. I hope the technologies spread to consumer markets, rather than being exclusively used for military purposes (this is what the AIBO should’ve looked like).

BigDog has an on-board computer that controls locomotion, servos the legs and handles a wide variety of sensors. BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behavior to keep it balanced, steer, navigate, and regulate energetics as conditions vary. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, battery charge and others. [BostonDynamics]

Boston Dynamics are also the creators of RiSE — an insect-like hexapod robot that climbs; and whose video demo ranked 10th in the most popular robot videos. A hat tip to the Boston Dynamics team for their achievements.

Links & References

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6 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Elijah

    I was alittle mad about bigdog being kicked also but then I remembered that it was a robot and it was only to test its stability
    …I hope so, either that or someone has some problems with the matrix.

  2. Wow! nice demo. The AI is pretty impressive. Sensing weaknesses in balance and making adjustments. I’d hate to be in the way of this thing though when it dips to it’s knees. I would like to see more footage of it’s speed and agility. Very impressive technology nonetheless.

  3. Ahmad


    can anyone tell me if the BigDog in also using the methode of artificial immunsystme?
    I need for my university project in germany some technical example!

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