You might have seen the trailers doing the rounds for the new Robocop movie but if you look at some of the most advanced robots being made today, they aren’t based on inefficient bipeds like us but take their inspiration from elsewhere in the animal kingdom.
The way that some of these robots move is truly terrifying and leading the pack is Bigdog from the military contractor Boston Dynamics (which also happens to be owned by Google ) These robots are being built for military purposes and if this is what they’re posting up on Youtube who knows what robotic monsters they have hidden in their workshops ? Maybe they want to scare us into being good citizens.
These videos are without doubt very cool to watch and so here are my top 7 robots that move like animals:
BigDog climbs in the woods, keeps its balance when kicked and when slipping on ice, travels through snow and mud, jogs 5 mph, and climbs some rubble. Built to go to war an updated version of the robot called Alpha Dog is already being used in training exercises with the US military. One soldier mentioned that AlphaDog can pretty much go 70 to 80 percent of the places that a troops can go which is pretty amazing and could make a huge difference on the battlefield. Can you imagine one of these guys with a machine gun and targeting system strapped to the top of it ? Scary.
WildCat is a four-legged robot being developed to run fast on all types of terrain. So far WildCat has run at about 16 mph on flat terrain using bounding and galloping gaits. The video shows WildCat’s best performance so far. WildCat is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA’s M3 program. For more information about WildCat visit www.BostonDynamics.com.
Number 3 is the only robot on my list that’s available to buy and if you did there’s no end to the fun you could have with it. http://www.robugtix.com/t8/
Some people are afraid of spiders. Others are afraid of robots. Heaven help the person afraid of both who stumbles upon this creepy-crawly 3D-printed robotic spider from Robugtix.The T8 is made nightmare-inducing not only by its 3D-printed and somewhat realistic-looking skin but by the preternatural movements that mimic living eight-leggers. According to Robugtix, that’s thanks largely to the company’s “Bigfoot” inverse kinematics engine, which uses math calculations to figure out how the robot-arachnid should move.Using 26 servo motors and a wireless RF-based connected remote control, the 2.2 lbs robot is not exactly autonomous, but when you send it in a direction, it figures out how to walk that creepy way. Would you buy a robot spider kit? If so, what would you do with it?
This is a video of HiBot Amphibious snake robot ACM-R5 also known as Snakebot. I love the way it glides through the water.
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. I don’t imagine it could carry as much weight as it’s bulkier cousins and it is still attached to cables but the speed is amazing.
I can’t imagine many military applications for this this robot fish which swims around it’s tank but maybe a slightly less bling version could be used for espionage. The movement is freakishly real and it looks as though almost everything can have a military application.
SandFlea is a small robot with remarkable mobility. The 11 lb robot drives like a traditional wheeled vehicle on mild terrain, but jumps up to 8m high over difficult terrain. That is high enough to jump over a compound wall, onto the roof of a house, up a set of stairs or into a second story window. It can jump 25 times using the piston actuator and onboard fuel supply. Jumps of 1-8 m heights are user selectable. Specially designed wheels cushion the shock of landing. Flight and landing attitude of the robot are automatically controlled by an onboard stability system