We’ve talked about walking machines before; here’s another one — BigDog, from Boston Dynamics. BigDog appears to be designed for the military to act as a mechanical pack mule, able to carry 120lbs over rough terrain at a decent walking speed.
It’s kind of amazing to watch the video of the thing in action; the movement of the legs reminds me of how a deer or antelope walks. In a couple of spots in the video someone gives the thing a kick to try and knock it off balance. It staggers a bit but keeps going. Truly amazing! It’s not clear what is used to guide the thing, whether it’s remote control or some sort of proximity following system or what. There are no wires attached to it in most of the video.
Boston Dynamics also has some smaller walking robots, like the LittleDog. BigDog seems to be the one with the most potential for practical use. I wonder though how well it would scale up. Maybe to the size of an AT-AT? Who knows.