So, I’m probably a latecomer to this, but a friend of mine shared a video link with me yesterday that showed off “Big Dog”. Basically, it’s like a cross between a robot, donkey, greyhound and spookiness. In case you haven’t seen the video, you should probably familiarize yourself with it before we go any further.
Heavy, right? During the moments where he stumbles a little bit and then recovers I was feeling a weird combination of sadness (he looks sort of pathetic for a bit) and abject terror. So, are you saying that when these things revolt and come to destroy their human overlords, that I won’t be able to knock them down? Hmm… I don’t think I’m a fan.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely appreciate the brilliant robotics that went into this Big Dog (I build tiny BEAM robots in my free time). But, I don’t have to worry about my tiny solar powered robots rising up to destroy me. This is mainly because:
- The motors are use are from toothbrushes and cellphones, so they can barely propel their own mass, let along crush my skull with a misplaced kick.
- The sun is going to be the first thing we lose in the apocalypse, right? So, now my armies of solar powered tiny bots are rendered non-functioning.
Meanwhile, Big Dog armies are stomping faces all over the world. Heh.
I’ll tell you who is a fan, though, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). The guys who created Big Dog got a contract to build LS3 (Legged Squad Support System, aka roving pack of mutant robot dogs that will kick y our face in). Here’s a quote from a Wired article about it:
LS3’s proposed abilities impress. The robot will be able to carry 400lbs (about 180 kilos) of equipment, as well as enough fuel for missions covering 20 miles and lasting 24 hours. It also doesn’t need a driver because it will either automatically follow a leader using computer vision or travel to designated locations using sensors and GPS.