Boston Dynamics

Robotic Battle Dog Now Obeys Voice Commands

I may never get tired of reading and writing about Boston Dynamics’ animal-inspired military robots. Back in March, John Newman updated us on the company’s robo-cheetah. Now we’ve learned that the company’s fantastically awesome, battle-ready AlphaDog (otherwise known as the Legged Squad Support System, or LS3) has gotten even better. Continue reading

Jumping Robot Aids Military Surveillance

We’ve previously written about Boston Dynamics’ amazing robotic cheetah and frightening AlphaDog military pack robot. On the other end of the size spectrum is their new, adorable SandFlea — a pint-sized robot that can leap tall buildings in a single bound, with the help of some compressed carbon dioxide.

The 11-pound robot operates like an RC car on the ground, but can jump 1 to 8 meters (up to 30 ft.) using a piston actuator and disposable fuel cartridge. An onboard gyroscopic stability system helps control landing attitude, and specially designed wheels cushion the shock of multiple jumps. There’s also a laser-based system to guide launch, live video feed for remote operation, and the unit can be controlled so precisely that users can send it through windows, onto tables, or up staircases. Continue reading

Robo-Cheetah Breaks Land Speed Record

Robots are an interesting exercise in engineering and, correspondingly, the editors here at DE like to cover them. Nearly every robot I can think of is created specifically for some purpose or another. This requires the folks who design and build the things to focus on the best way to accomplish whatever problem the robot is being tasked with. Robots are also just plain cool, but sometimes a part of me can’t help but think that Skynet is watching.

Boston Dynamics has recently unveiled a robot based on the movements of extraordinarily fast creatures in nature, intended to be capable of traversing terrain quickly and efficiently. The robot, developed with funding provided by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) takes its name from the creature it most resembles: the cheetah.

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