Boston Dynamic’s Galloping Robot
Kyle Maxey posted on October 07, 2013 |
Company untethers Wildcat robot to test its speed and stability - Video

boston dynamics, robot, DARPA, walker, stealth, run, armyDARPA is looking for a few good robots to help shoulder the load soldiers carry into the field.  While that may sound more science fiction than science fact, robots are very close to entering full-fledged combat support roles.

Boston Dynamics appears to be leading the robotic revolution. From their PETMAN  project to their entry into the ATLAS competition, the Cambridge based company is pushing the limits of what’s possible in the world of robotics.

In a trial undertaken late last week, Boston Dynamics untethered their Wildcat robot and letting it run free to determine its speed and stability.

DARPA created the Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program to create robots that, like the Wildcat, can move rapidly and effectively in natural environments.  After having seen what Boston Dynamics debuted last week, the company appears well on its way to building a prototype system that meets those needs.

Although the new untethered version of the Wildcat lacks it predecessor’s top speed (new model: 25.7 kmh; old model: 45 kmh), it’s still fast enough to run down most humans, and it can even recover pretty gracefully when it takes a spill (01:17 mark of the video).

Putting together a number of the ideas that DARPA is currently working on, one can clearly see what direction the agency wants the US military to go. My bet is we’ll soon see mech-enhanced soldiers being supported by fast moving robo-sprinters.

Image and Video Courtesy of Boston Dynamics

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