Scary Boston Dynamics Robots
Boston Dynamics is an engineering and robotics design company that is best known for the development of BigDog, a quadruped robot designed for the U.S. military with funding from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and DI-Guy, COTS software for realistic human simulation.
On 13 December 2013, the company was acquired by Google, where it will be managed by Andy Rubin.
Spot is a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. Spot has a sensor head that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain. Spot weighs about 160 lbs.
RHex is a 30-lb robot designed for mobility on rough terrain. It is operated remotely via an RF link that includes a high-resolution video uplink.
The PETMAN robot was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the DoD CBD program. It is used to test the performance of protective clothing designed for hazardous environments.
BigDog handles heavy objects. The goal is to use the strength of the legs and torso to help power motions of the arm. This sort of dynamic, whole-body approach to manipulation is used routinely by human athletes and will enhance the performance of advanced robots. Boston Dynamics is developing the control and actuation techniques needed for dynamic manipulation. The cinderblock weighs about 35 lbs and the best throw is a bit more than 17 ft. The research is funded by the Army Research Laboratory's RCTA program.
Cheetah Robot is a fast-running quadruped developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA. It just blazed past its previous speed record, getting up to 28.3 mph, about 0.5 mph faster than Usain Bolt's fastest 20 meter split. This version of the Cheetah Robot runs on a treadmill with offboard power. Testing on an untethered outdoor version starts early next year. For more information about Cheetah or the other robots we develop, visit www.BostonDynamics.com.
Atlas is an anthropomorphic robot designed to operate on rough terrain. The video shows Atlas balancing as it walks on rocky terrain and when pushed from the side. The balance and control system places the feet and swings the arms and upper body to stay upright. The controller uses inertial, kinematic and load data from Atlas's sensors. Atlas is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA's M3 program. For more information visit www.BostonDynamics.com
Sand Flea is an 11-lb robot with one trick up its sleeve: Normally it drives like an RC car, but when it needs to it can jump 30 feet into the air. An onboard stabilization system keeps it oriented during flight to improve the view from the video uplink and to control landings. Current development of Sand Flea is funded by the The US Army's Rapid Equipping Force. For more information visit www.BostonDynamics.com.
LittleDog was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA. It is used for research on legged locomotion and learning by groups at MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, USC, U Penn and IHMC.
Video of the Big Dog on ice and snow, and also demoing its walking gait.