05 January 2021

The robots of Boston Dynamics

The top video is of "Big Dog" from way back in 2009.  After watching it you may enjoy viewing this excellent spoof (thanks, Prokke!).

In 2012 I posted the video of their "Sand Flea" -

Sand Flea is an 11-lb robot with one trick up its sleeve: Normally it drives like an RC car, but when it needs to it can jump 30 feet into the air. An onboard stabilization system keeps it oriented during flight to improve the view from the video uplink and to control landings. Current development of Sand Flea is funded by the The US Army's Rapid Equipping Force.
Presumably, the "Sand Flea" will later be equipped with reconnaissance equipment and perhaps some lethal weaponry.

The latest iteration by Boston Dynamics is truly impressive:

Via Neatorama again (they were hard at work while I was blogcationing).

All of us are so used to seeing CGI in the movies that it's hard to realize that what is being filmed here are actual physical living breathing robots.


  1. That was a really interesting video, it's uncanny how like an animal its movements are, especially when it was shown slipping on ice and recovering its balance, very like the behavior of a dog doing the same activity.

    If they can reduce the power requirements such that it doesn't need a two-cycle engine to power it, it would be a good platform for further space exploration. A walker like this appears to be would (I think) be superior at negotiating some terrain compared to tracked or wheeled robots.

  2. Check this one, its a beta-version of big-dog, but you can see much of the animal-like movement here too!


  3. Hilarious Prokke, thanks for the laugh. Funnily, it took a few seconds to parse what was actually going on in the video.

  4. i seem to recall a windup toy that predates the 'sand flea' by decades. same idea - a spring loaded lever flipped it over and then it would run again.



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