Boston Dynamics has posted some updated videos of BigDog and PETMAN. As far as I can tell, there isn’t much new going on… BigDog still carries a bunch of stuff, climbs up muddy hills, doesn’t fall down on ice, looks like two guys running around under a tarp, and sounds like a swarm of killer bees. The one new sequence that I noticed shows BigDog running (the definition of running being an airborne gait phase) at 5 mph. At the end of the video, when the hydraulics are run externally and the engine is off, BigDog sounds a lot more reasonable. Unfortunately, it’s hard to beat the power density and instant rechargeability of petroleum-based fuels, so we might be stuck with the bees for a while longer.
PETMAN is moving a bit more briskly as well, reaching a walking speed of 4.4 mph. Although it’s dynamically balancing itself, it still looks to me like it’s perpetually on the verge of falling over, but I guess arguably that’s what dynamic balancing is all about. Remember that eventually Petman is supposed to be able to crawl, sweat, and do ‘calisthenics’ to test protective clothing. And when I say eventually, I mean by 2011, but that seems a little bit optimistic at this point. Artificial fingers crossed!
[ Boston Dynamics ]