Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big Dog on Ice

"Big Dog" is a quadripedal robot being designed by Boston Dynamics for DARPA. Its ostensible purpose will be to carry supplies on the battlefield for the Army.

Personally, I find the way it moves more than a little creepy. SF geek that I am, I keep thinking of Cordwainer Smith's manshonyaggers.

So maybe the guy shouldn't be kicking it like that.




13 comments:

Peg Brantley said...

Get rid of the droning noise and they'd really have something.

At first, I thought creepy would be two more legs, but man . . . the more I watched, the more it achieved creepy status with four.

Joe said...

I think the droning noise is a small engine providing power. It's much quieter in the tethered shots.

Kristy Kiernan said...

Oh my god, that is SO creepy! Gaaaahhhhh...

Celine said...

It's the way the legs are jointed, plus the fact that they look ragged-edged, almost as if they were hairy. Add the drone, and it's the Giant Fly From Hell, no matter that it's two legs short.

JD Rhoades said...

Peg, I think when it's running free, it's powered by a small gas engine. I agree that could be a problem on the battlefield.

But if they could figure a way to stealth it, and put some night vision equipment on it..think about that thing coming after you through the woods in the middle of the night.

LongHairedWeirdo said...

The freaky thing is the hidden chainsaw we keep hearing in some of the films. You just *know* that puppy is going to whip that chainsaw out and go berserk someday.

Gerard said...

I refuse to watch the video. The last time I saw it was just too creepy.

eviljwinter said...

I want one. Just to spook the dog and fetch me drinks.

JD Rhoades said...

I think the really creepy part is that the legs look so human.

Gerard said...

I remember the legs looking like the slipping and skittering legs of a drunk woman on ice.

Cornelia Read said...

It does look kind of like two people bent over, head-to-head, with their torsos shoved inside a robot suit.

And also, I think I now know the answer to the question my daughter Grace posed to me when she was seven, "if our legs bent the other way, what would chairs look like?"

Kate Hathway said...

"But if they could figure a way to stealth it, and put some night vision equipment on it..think about that thing coming after you through the woods in the middle of the night."

Geez, JD, now I'm gonna have nightmares, thanks to that comment! ('Cause the mere sight and sound of the thing aren't bad enough, of course!)

Tom Panek said...

Shades of those "chicken-things" in Star Wars! But can it bob & weave - can it dodge live ammo?