You love taking puppy for a walk and he sure loves it, too. And he sure loves giving you a nice pile of poo to bag up. Lovely. Well here you go…
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has been developing quadru-ped robotic pack mules for a while. Boston Dynamics, a contractor for the military, has been working on a four-legged robot they’ve dubbed Big Dog. Yesterday they took the dogs on a demo-run for the Marine Corps at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, in Virginia.
According to DARPA program manager Lt. Col. Joe Hitt, “(Big Dog has) the ability to go from a 1- to 3-mph walk and trot over rough, rocky terrain…to a 5-mph jog”. As can be seen in the video below, this dog is no dummy.
Big Dog is more the size of a Yak and is designed to carry heavy gear for troops over rugged, varying terrain. It can follow them autonomously, and respond to verbal and visual commands, but so can a Yak. But a Yak requires food and will poo almost as much as your Mr.Pickles after eating pizza.
A smaller version could be developed to carry small payloads, like beverages, and will not require feeding or cleanup. And taking this a step further, he won’t bite or fight, although outfitting Big Dog with a Tazer might be fun!