Robo-Doggie's New Pal

Defense Tech loves robots, of course. But our favorite of 'bot of all is the four-legged mechanical pack mules known as the BigDog. We've been barking about the robo-fido, ever since it was a sketch on a drawing pad.bigdogs2.jpgSo imagine the joy at Defense Tech HQ when we learned that there was a new puppy in the mechanical litter -- a second BigDog. The two bots were running around Marine Corps Air Station New River recently -- along with an exoskeleton-clad marine and a new trauma pod.The roboteers at Boston Dynamics have been training the 165-pound, two-and-a-half foot-tall BigDogs to carry gear for soldiers and marines over uneven terrain. So far, they've gotten the pooches to "run at a rate of 3.3 mph, climb a 35 degree slope and carry a 120 pound load," according to Marine Corps News. The bots have proved sturdy enough to take a big kick, and keep on walkin'.Maybe it's this sturdiness that's inspiring some to think about the BigDogs are most than just mechanical beasts of burden. This article -- and take this a can of salty Alpo -- says Darpa "is considering plans such as weaponizing the BigDog robots."Down, boy. Down.(Big ups: BB)

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