Saturday, October 5, 2013

Galloping robot "WildCat"


Boston Dynamics has introduced its latest animal-like robot called WildCat, a galloping, bounding robot that looks a bit like an organic quadriped, but has a terrifying energy and geometry all its own.

Mech artists, note how the design conserves most of the mass toward the center of the form, with no heavy forms at the periphery. (link to video)

10 comments:

Peter Thompson said...

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/artscience/2013/10/this-alkaline-african-lake-turns-animals-into-stone/

Not about the galloping robot- but i thought you would find this fascinating

Carole Pivarnik said...

That's neat and sort of eerie to watch...although when "galloping" it doesn't quite appear to use the precise four-beat pattern of footfalls of a galloping horse which is: Far hindleg, near hindleg quickly followed by far foreleg, and finally near foreleg, then a moment of suspension with all four feet off the ground...landing on the far hindleg and repeat. But I expect they probably had reasons for that--possibly programming or physics issues.

James Snuffer said...

This is fascinating. One step closer to Judgement Day.

Daniel said...

I think part of the "oddness" of its motion is down to the fact that only the limbs move - the torso is totally rigid, in contrast to every quadriped that we're familiar with.

greenishthing said...

boston robotics =darpa = the military, attach a bomb onto this toy and you'll see what it will be used for, let's hope the fire fighter and other positive forces one day have access to a version of this (toned down of course, the military wont share all)
sorry if I'm bitter, I wish such wonders were created for life not death

James Gurney said...

Greenish Thing, yeah, I kind of agree with your dread of military uses. I also would worry about domestic military police using them to put down protesters in the name of "security" or "fighting terrorism." The reality is that most fundamental inventions, like ships, cars, and airplanes have been developed by some combination of military and commercial interests. It's possible to imagine these things for non-military uses, for example for bringing biologists to places without needing to build roads, or supplying desert outposts.

Carole, good observation. I remember reading in Muybridge about rotary and transverse gallop.

Daniel, yes, another part of the oddness for me is that the legs lack tarsals or toes or hooves--they just end like padded posts.

Vicki said...

To me the odd thing is that the legs bend backwards like knees, rather than forward as animal legs do. Its motion gives the effect of an animal running full speed backwards. I kept wondering when it would turn around and run "right".

James Gurney said...

Vicki, yes, me too. When the clip started, I thought he was going to run the other way.

Erik Bongers said...

Yes, the 'wrong' knees fascinate me too. I assume the legs have been computer-modeled and are the result of virtual and live testing.
In a sense that's warp speed evolution.

(in order to post this remark, google ask's me to "Please prove you're not a robot", by means of a captcha)

Eugene Arenhaus said...

And there is no damping sliding of the shoulderblade, as well as no spring action of the spine. The thingy must be experiencing really sharp shocks every time it lands.