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Robot "dog" crosses obstacles, lacks head

Robot "dog" crosses obstacles, lacks head
Donald Melanson
Donald Melanson|@donmelanson|September 20, 2007 4:53 PM
To be honest, we're not sure if Boston Dynamics decision to not include a head on its so-called "LittleDog" makes the bot more or less creepy, but it sure is pretty darn impressive either way. It's claim to fame, and the result of $1.5 million in funding from DARPA, is its ability to cross harsh terrain with relative ease, relying on an array of sensors that measure joint angles, body orientation, and foot/ground contact. As you can see in the video after the break, the whole system appears to work remarkably well, with the bot only encountering a few minor hiccups during its rock-climbing adventure. No word on any future plans for the bot just yet, but with DARPA behind it, we're guessing it'll be attracting some slightly different owners than its robot canine companions.

[Via SlashGear]

Update: We overlooked this at first, but it turns out LittleDog isn't Boston Dynamics' first foray into headless robot dogs, with the company's BigDog also able to climb hills, and carry a 120 pound load to boot.