04/02/09 02:20 PM
just stumbled upon the following:
"Big Dog - The Army Mule":
Manufacturer: Boston Dynamics
Product Type: Platform
Length: 39.40 inches
Height: 27.50 inches
Weight: 165.30 pounds
The Most Advanced Quadruped Robot on Earth BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal’s, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight. BigDog has an on-board computer that controls locomotion, servos the legs and handles a wide variety of sensors. BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behavior to keep it balanced, steer, navigate, and regulate energetics as conditions vary. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, battery charge and others. In separate trials, BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, and carries a 340 lb load. BigDog is being developed by Boston Dynamics with the goal of creating robots that have rough-terrain mobility that can take them anywhere on Earth that people and animals can go. The program is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).
Wow, pretty amazing for the year 2009: internal combustion engine (ICE), laser gyro, up to 340 lb cargo / equipment (/ weapons(?)) space, but admittedly rather slow - and it looks like it's currently a wee bit clumsy while moving around, but if you think about early automobiles and how fast the technology advanced in this particular area within only 100+ years, well, rather promising news for all us Quad-'Mech(a) fans, well, at least IMVHO ...
edit / add-on:
The Legged Learning Robot LittleDog is a quadruped robot for research on learning locomotion. Scientists at leading institutions use LittleDog to probe the fundamental relationships among motor learning, dynamic control, perception of the environment, and rough terrain locomotion. LittleDog has four legs, each powered by three electric motors. The legs have a large range of motion and workspace. The motors are strong enough for dynamic locomotion, including climbing. The onboard PC-level computer does sensing, actuator control and communications. LittleDog's sensors measure joint angles, motor currents, body orientation and foot/ground contact. Control programs access the robot through the Boston Dynamics Robot API. Onboard lithium polymer batteries allow for 30 minutes of continuous operation without recharging. Wireless communications and data logging support remote operation and analysis. LittleDog development is funded by the DARPA Information Processing Technology Office.
Can't help it but "Little Dog" kind of looks leaner and 'meaner' than his bigger brother, probably because it's jet black and metall parts only ...
Have a nice day / night.
Edited by NeverSayNever (04/02/09 02:50 PM)