Boston Dynamics - Big Dog

When I first viewed this video I was amazed more than my kids.  I'm still in awe with what can be created when you pull various engineering disciplines together.  The mechanics, digital electronics and software enable this machine to perform as an almost living organism.  The gas engine sound is a good clue that you are seeing a machine.  However if you turn the volume down and view at a distance you will think otherwise.  A machine that can be kicked, slip on ice, climb in snow and leap tall bounds and recover from these events certainly speaks artificial intelligence, finite state automaton and advanced research.  The fact that this robot is carrying a heavy payload of over ~100 lbs. (~45 kilos) is impressive.  In college I took courses in AI and state machine theory, but this video has been the best demonstration for me of that theory in practice. This robot was created by Boston Dynamics, a company that specializes in human simulation and robotics.  The machine below was funded in part by DARPA.  Cool stuff indeed.  Makes you think will Sarah Connor and Terminator remain fiction?

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The blog of Bob Porras - Vice President, Data, Availability, Scalability & HPC for Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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