BigDog robot plays catch with concrete blocks

Boston Dynamics' DARPA-funded quadruped, which is designed as a load-carrying mule for soldiers, demonstrates its latest scary trick.

Duck! Screenshot by CBSNews.com

The last time we checked in on Boston Dynamics, its "robot bison" was busy demonstrating what it could do out in the field. And we were impressed.

Today we get to see a different kind of robot animal in action. I'll give you a hint on the type: fetch!

Awww... who's a good boy? The robot on display in the video is BigDog , a DARPA-funded all-terrain cyber-canine meant for military use. It can tackle slopes up to 35 degrees, rubble, snow, mud, and water, and can carry a 340-pound load. Boston Dynamics writes of the monster dog's latest trick:

BigDog handles heavy objects. The goal is to use the strength of the legs and torso to help power motions of the arm. This sort of dynamic, whole-body approach is routinely used by human athletes and animals, and will enhance the performance of advanced robots. The control techniques and actuators needed for dynamic manipulation are being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the Army Research Laboratory's RCTA program.

Amazing technology, but I think I'm going to pass on playing a game of "catch" if those concrete blocks are involved. Just saying. To see more amazing robotics from Boston Dynamics (if you dare), visit its YouTube page.

This story originally appeared on CBS News' The Feed Blog.

 

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