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DARPA's Robo-Cheetah Is Now Faster Than Usain Bolt

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the greased-lightning dept.

The Military 91

pigrabbitbear writes "The Boston Dynamics Cheetah just clocked a 28.3 miles per hour sprint on a treadmill, and it's heading outdoors soon. At that speed, it could edge out the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, in a dead sprint. (Bolt peaked at 27.78 miles per hour in his world-record-setting 100-meter dash back in 2009.) 'To be fair, keep in mind that the Cheetah robot runs on a treadmill without wind drag and has an off-board power supply that it does not carry,' admitted Boston Dynamics in a press release. 'So Bolt is still the superior athlete.' Nevertheless, the team hopes to drop these implements and have a freestanding speed bot by early next year. They're calling that model the WildCat."

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91 comments

Wow a machine faster than a human. (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258673)

Wow! our advancement in technology to make a machine that and travel faster then a human! Amazing. Perhaps we can make a machine that can fly too.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258753)

The important thing about this kind of research is that the artificial solutions move in the same way as the biological models. That makes it easier to integrate them with biology. Amputees won't ever be happy to have lost a limb, but an artificial replacement that can outperform the original is a lot better than an artificial replacement that can do no more (and often does less) than the original.

More fancifully, perhaps the Rat Things from Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash [amazon.com] are now a possibility.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (2)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258771)

The important thing about this kind of research is that the artificial solutions move in the same way as the biological models.

Really? [wikipedia.org]

"Unfortunate That It's to Be Used to Kill People" (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#41261665)

The headless machine, funded by the Pentagon, reached 28.3mph (45.5km/h) when tested on a treadmill.

Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, has mixed feelings about the development.

"It's an incredible technical achievement, but it's unfortunate that it's going to be used to kill people," he suggested.
"But of course if it's used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it's not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers." [bbc.com]

Re:"Unfortunate That It's to Be Used to Kill Peopl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41262435)

The headless machine, funded by the Pentagon, reached 28.3mph (45.5km/h) when tested on a treadmill.

Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, has mixed feelings about the development.

"It's an incredible technical achievement, but it's unfortunate that it's going to be used to kill people," he suggested.
"But of course if it's used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it's not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers." [bbc.com]

Obviously it's going to be killing US soldiers too if it won't be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers; all the things and people that get quoted by bbc no less...

Re:"Unfortunate That It's to Be Used to Kill Peopl (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#41263247)

Wrong. If somebody has a weapon, then they are a soldier. If they do not, then they will be considered a civilian until shown otherwise. The advantage of this is that it will likely be used as a forward drone that moves through enemy troops, even those in superior position.

Contrast this to bombs dropped by drones. They will kill those in and around the blast zone. Yes, they have made this better and better, but the fact is innocents still die. OTH, if a killer cheetah(s) and sit on the edge, ready to run, you can have 1 or more of these run through a pack and kill those that are a threat.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

f3rret (1776822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258835)

More fancifully, perhaps the Rat Things from Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash [amazon.com] are now a possibility.

Unlikely, those things are described as running several hundred miles per hour, also I don't think the non-proliferation people will be too happy about all the RTGs involved-

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259053)

I imagine that the mere existence of Raven, and his 'thermonuclear second strike is just a stroke away' deterrence policy, would keep the proliferation types too busy attempting to find underwear not sodden with human filth and pure fear to be worried about a few stray RTGs...

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258841)

I suspect that much of the interest is also because of our persistent desire to more efficiently perform rescue operations and/or slaughter the locals in some downright hostile terrain.

Just as a pick-and-place provided with precise instructions and reels of neatly packaged and identical components can out-assemble a factory worth of nimble-fingered children; but couldn't beat a single freshman nerd at 'dig through the junk box and breadboard something', wheeled vehicles run like a bat out of hell on the terrain we lovingly build for them; but work increasingly poorly outside of that. At the cost of size and weight, larger wheels and/or tracks can muscle the problem a bit; but there are limits.

Legs, on the other hand, are mediocre at moving fast over well behaved terrain; but scrambling up mildly alarming slopes composed of loose rubble is practically routine...

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259199)

Also handy for wrapping around branches while climbing a tree. And you can use them blind because the animal version is equipped with sensors.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

WankersRevenge (452399) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259227)

Legs, on the other hand, are mediocre at moving fast over well behaved terrain; but scrambling up mildly alarming slopes composed of loose rubble is practically routine...

If you get a chance, you should read the book "Born to Run". It puts forth the argument that we didn't evolve to run fast, we evolved to run over for long periods time. The idea being, we chased our prey until it collapsed. One of Attenborough's documentaries (Earth, I think) actually documents this kind of hunt. It's a pretty interesting read that will make you think differently about running shoes, for sure.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (4, Interesting)

Dyolf Knip (165446) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260871)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting [wikipedia.org]

It's called Persistence Hunting, and it's awesome. There was a David Attenborough-narrated video of it on youtube that has been taken down, but basically they chase the animal for hours and hours. Being able to run isn't enough, you have to be able to quickly track it as well when it's out of sight. The upshot is that when you finally run it down, it's half dead with exhaustion already, and you can literally walk right up to it, spear in hand, and kill it.

It's also a possible explanation for our relative hairlessness. Sweating apparently works better for cooling on bare skin.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260287)

But is this legged robot going to handle that rough terrain, either?

There's the thing, really, Usain Bolt isn't this robot's rival. What this robot has to beat is not a human athlete, but an equivalent robot with wheels or a rotor. Even Usain Bolt can't run at 30 mph on rough ground, and I think it has still not been demonstrated that a legged robot would be intrinsically better at handling such terrain.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260705)

A wheeled vehicle cannot travel over certain kinds of terrain at all, never mind with speed. A legged robot can. It doesn't need to be demonstrated, it's simply obvious that it is possible. This robot may not be able to (probably doesn't have the flexibility and co-ordination to lift it's legs the right way), but you can see it is possible simply by looking at a biological organism doing it. You don't start at the end (running up a rocky mountain), you start at the beginning (running on a treadmill).

And nothing is really stopping you from putting wheels on a legged robot for the best of both worlds, aside from finding space on the robot in the first place.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41261879)

like a bat out of hell

Forget wheeled vehicles, I want one of these!

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | about a year and a half ago | (#41264533)

like a bat out of hell

Forget wheeled vehicles, I want one of these!

Why? It'll be gone when the morning comes.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259215)

... an artificial replacement that can outperform the original is a lot better than an artificial replacement that can do no more (and often does less) than the original.

Especially when you can have them fitted with automatic weaponry. It will definitely help clear your path..

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258845)

Perhaps we can make a machine that can fly too.

Already done [youtube.com] my friend, already done.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258871)

Wow! our advancement in technology to make a machine that and travel faster then a human! Amazing. Perhaps we can make a machine that can fly too.

Yeh just like when I read "Usain" (oo-sayn) it made me think of Hussain. Not like Saddam Hussain. Like Barack Hussain Obama. It was pretty pathetic hearing ol Hussain Obama telling his faithful little Dem lapdogs to rally at the DNC.

I mean Jesus look at the BALLS on that guy. "Uhh, nothing I said I would do actually worked out.. but get excited for me!" "Uhh, I'm even worse than Jimmy Carter - that's why Carter likes me, for the relief I give him - vote for me!" "Uhh I created more debt than EVERY SINGLE US PRESIDENT BEFORE ME COMBINED, but really it'll work out someday just give me four more years! After all I've done so well with the first four years, vote for me!"

It goes to show how stupid the average American is and how much of a sucker average people are for a little charisma. I guess they'd sell their souls to the Devil if he asked nicely enough and said "please". At least if the Devil had a suit and a good haircut and smiled a lot. And hired people we've never heard of to write his speeches for him so he could take credit for them, and then send them to a teleprompter.

Tell me this. If the President, you know the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA does not write his own speeches, if he just performs a speech on stage that somebody else wrote, wouldn't that make him just an actor? Not even a very good actor either. Real actors are expected to memorize their lines. They don't get teleprompters. So he's a lazy puppet actor performing somebody else's script. I do believe everything about him is totally phony just like his fabricated personal history.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258945)

Dear god,
Are you that desperate?

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259041)

Dear god, Are you that desperate?

Desperate for a better president? Yes!

I'd rather not be the next Greece. That's a reality that is coming and all the charm in the world won't stop it. Only sound fiscal policy could do that. The guy we have now clearly doesn't care.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259159)

Really? [ifitweremyhome.com]

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260433)

Look, do us adults a favor and go back to /b/ where moronic off topic racist and misogynist rants are the pinnacle of your literary accomplishments. We don't need your help.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41261271)

Moronic? Yeah. Off topic? Unquestionably.

But racist and misogynist? That you have made up. Nothing in his posts contained such things.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

Foxhoundz (2015516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259129)

Wow! our advancement in technology to make a machine that and travel faster then a human! Amazing. Perhaps we can make a machine that can fly too.

This is a good example of the type of ignorant, knee jerk comments that are ruining Slashdot. You know this is a technological advancement. If quadrupedalism is perfected, we could have ATV sized vehicles that can practically tackle almost any terrain. Besides the military applications, I could see these things being autonomously sent out to send medical kits and supplies to remote or war torn regions. I would normally tag this as redundant and move on, but since I'm all out of mod points, this long-winded post will have to suffice. Good day.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259439)

Note to slashdot aspergers crowd. If some starts a post with "Wow!". They are probably joking. No need to write a paragraph long retort explaining why they shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the awesome points of an article. Some jokes also aren't very funny. That too is normal.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259165)

Google drive car goes faster. Cruise missiles go a LOT faster.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260717)

Light's faster still - doesn't stop WildCat being cool.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41270943)

Running on a treadmill really limits the coolness. As does the massive arm that holds it in place on the treadmill. I think it's clear they haven't mastered the control algorithms yet.

The impressive thing about animals running isn't so much how fast they move. It's that they have complete mastery of all the controls, sensors and feedback systems it takes to run on legs over uneven surfaces and around unpredictably moving obstacles (e.g. to evade predators or catch prey). Even more impressive, they do it in a neat self-contained package that comprises all that plus an on-board power system that can extract everything it needs from the environment. The mammalian system can do this all in a package two inches long. The insect system does it with six legs and a tiny fraction of the size and computing horsepower.

I'm not trying to pooh-pooh these guys achievements, but to emphasize how hard the problem of locomotion is and how much there is yet to do before robots approach the sophistication of animals.

Re:Wow a machine faster than a human. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41263271)

Wow! our advancement in technology to make a machine that and travel faster then a human! Amazing. Perhaps we can make a machine that can fly too.

Now that's just crazy talk...machines that can fly...geez.

Being able to outrun Bolt is nice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258677)

...but can it run Crysis?

Neat but scary. (2, Interesting)

xclr8r (658786) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258691)

I thought it was kind of cool that the limbs did not really differentiate from their front rear pairs until the very end.

Re:Neat but scary. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259083)

I wonder if future firmware revisions will incorporate all sorts of deeply-unsettling sudden change of direction capabilities based on being able to swap 'front' and 'rear' limb roles in short order...

There's still inertia to worry about; but something that moves forward or backward with equal speed and ease could pull off some interesting tricks.

They should work on something else (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258699)

like a machine that can out-ass Kim Kardshian or Shakira. It should also be able to out-ass Ahmo Hight, Tina Charest, Bambi4u and Jenna Von Oy.

Why is there an arm on the far side... (0)

ark1 (873448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258713)

holding the robot suspended in the air? Is that the power supply or this bot can't hold its weight/stability?

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258747)

RTFS: "has an off-board power supply that it does not carry"

In addition, if you watch the video, the arm prevents the robot from being smashed when it finally trips up at the maximum speed.

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (4, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258757)

Or perhaps they didn't want the robot accidentally hurled into the back wall at 30mph?

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (1)

f3rret (1776822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258847)

Or perhaps they didn't want the robot accidentally hurled into the back wall at 30mph?

Both, I think.

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41271023)

I actually really like the failure mode. How it just kind of ceased up when it finally tripped. Definitely would have made a good hole if the arm wasn't there.

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (3, Informative)

xclr8r (658786) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258769)

It's the external power supply and probably holds the com lines kill switches and probably acts as a tether so it doesn't accidentally trample a grad student.

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259081)

But the title says its a DARPA project, isn't trampling grad students the goal?

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259173)

Why? It's not like they're useful or anything, the chinese are using them as cheap unqualified labor, what else would they keep them around if not to catch runaway robots?

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41260813)

probably acts as a tether so it doesn't accidentally trample a grad student.

The summary confirms this suggestion and additionally tells us why we should be very scared indeed:

it could edge out the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, in a dead sprint

It will be armed with knives.

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (3, Informative)

usuallylost (2468686) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258849)

I watched the video a couple of times to try and determine that as well. It looks like the arm is freely moving. My guess is the purpose is to prevent it from flying across the lab and killing somebody when it fails. I’d guess that the power is coming in through the cables at the top.

If they ever make this work I can envision some scary things that could be made with such technology. Killer robots hunting people down seems a little more plausible every day. For now this company has managed, with their previous robot design, to make what is basically a $32 million dollar robotic replacement for a mule.

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259059)

Reminds me of this from the old failed Robotech sequel The Sentinels: http://robotech.wikia.com/wiki/Cougar

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260471)

For now this company has managed, with their previous robot design, to make what is basically a $32 million dollar robotic replacement for a mule.

"Horses can make other horses. That's a trick that tractors haven't learned." - Heinlein.

Re:Why is there an arm on the far side... (1)

Dyolf Knip (165446) | about a year and a half ago | (#41262477)

True, but they can also get sick, get scared, run away, people form emotional bonds to them, and if the claims of future BigDogs are true, would have a hard time carrying those sorts of payloads (400 lbs).

It looks to me like it's running backwards (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258793)

It looks to me like it's running backwards, there is something uncanny about it's gait. I love the way it does the "flip" at the end when the track gets too fast!

Re:It looks to me like it's running backwards (1)

Smigh (1634175) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260753)

It looked uncanny to me too. I think I'd expect those joints to bend the other way, instead.

Dog? Mule? (1)

soupforare (542403) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258819)

Now cheetah? This platform is everything to everybody! Has it actually found a usable man-portable power source yet or what?

Obvious (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258821)

Once a bipedal robot can outrun the fastest human, Skynet will make it's move. No chance for humans to escape.

Re:Obvious (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258917)

Why does it need to be bipedal? I think I'd find a robodog or robospider scarier than a robohuman.

Re:Obvious (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259153)

We can chalk it up to machine logic, fried circuitry, someone forgetting to insert a ; or { in the original code, or some sys-admin fell asleep at his desk and startled awake, spilling coffee on fetal Skynet.

Red Planet + screamers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258843)

Do you really trust the people who will ultimately control this kind of tech? Imagine 10,000 of them dropped from an airplane.

Re:Red Planet + screamers (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260503)

Do you really trust the people who will ultimately control this kind of tech? Imagine 10,000 of them dropped from an airplane.

Parts! Look at all of those nifty parts!

(Rubs hands together in glee).

Here guys! Drop them over here!

Does not look so stable actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258881)

It really looks like that bot can crash any time. Shouldn't it be using its knees, elbows, ankles etc. too?

Matrix anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258883)

..am I the only one that's reminded of the matrix by looking at this?!

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258887)

First Garry Kasparov, then Ken Jennings, and (soon) Usain Bolt. Sure, Albert Einstein or Leonardo Da Vinci or Mahatma Gandhi may be beyond robotic capabilities for quite a while yet, but you'd think that we could start replacing congressmen with much better robotic equivalents soon.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260515)

First Garry Kasparov, then Ken Jennings, and (soon) Usain Bolt. Sure, Albert Einstein or Leonardo Da Vinci or Mahatma Gandhi may be beyond robotic capabilities for quite a while yet, but you'd think that we could start replacing congressmen with much better robotic equivalents soon.

Furby's are pretty cheap and they're bound to be smarter than the average Congressman.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Guignol (159087) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260519)

Pappus is already in trouble you know...
But I think congressmen and politicians in general are safe, no sane AI would allow itself to pretend it performs like a flawed abachus requiring a nuclear power plant to run

Red Planet was a terrible movie (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258981)

But the robotic dog was the way a Terminator should have been built from the get go. For more effective, can stand if it wants to to operate weapons, and what dog doesn't bark at another dog? Yes military and police dogs don't - but the other dogs bark at them and even the trained dogs can get riled up.

Usain has top speed and acceleration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258987)

It's impressive that the robot continued movement at that speed.. but how quickly can it get up to that speed? I'm not trying to knock it, but the company started the comparison with Usain and the video shows it slowly getting up to that speed over about a minute, versus whenever Usain hit that speed (10 seconds).

I would assume that in robotics, as with cars and people, acceleration is harder than top speed, but I'm sure they'll get there.

Re:Usain has top speed and acceleration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41260673)

It's impressive that the robot continued movement at that speed.. but how quickly can it get up to that speed? I'm not trying to knock it, but the company started the comparison with Usain and the video shows it slowly getting up to that speed over about a minute, versus whenever Usain hit that speed (in under10 seconds).

I would assume that in robotics, as with cars and people, acceleration is harder than top speed, but I'm sure they'll get thereeventually.

A sprinter will hit top speed for three strides or so and then begin deceleration. Usain Bolt 0 to 28 speed would be under 9 seconds the robot something over a minute which is not good sprinting.

5.95 Seconds (1)

iCharles (242580) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258991)

Sarah, a cheetah at the Cincinnati Zoo, set the 100 meter record for land mammal in June at 5.95 seconds--four seconds better than Bolt. This works out to 37.6 mph. While a cheetah in the wild might not quite hit that mark, they are easily faster than Bolt or 'bot, and do so on unprepared terrain, and often with zigs and zags chasing prey. DARPA has a way to go.

But Usain Bolt (1)

aglider (2435074) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259047)

also carries his own energy source with him.
What if we cut those chords hanging from the ceiling and the metal brace on the side?

Re:But Usain Bolt (1)

Guignol (159087) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260623)

And is also a human with no hope whatsoever to compete with a real cheetah after which the bot was named (and is more look-like/work-like anyway)...
It's a sad way to present what is on its own an impressive achievement

Power source is critical (2)

CyclistOne (896544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259069)

How long could a robot like this run - and how fast - if it did not have an external power supply?

Re:Power source is critical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41260671)

How long can run Usain at that speed? I guess at 400m latest the speed would drop sharply. I seem to remember hearing that sprinters can't keep the speed because they can't suck in fresh oxygen fast enough and the oxygen stored in blood and muscles is depleted.

Re:Power source is critical (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260961)

How long could a robot like this run - and how fast - if it did not have an external power supply?

About 67 attoseconds.

Can Big Dog be knocked over? (1)

JoeRobe (207552) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259177)

One thing I'm wondering about in regard to Big Dog is whether it can actually be knocked over. More importantly, if we were to lay it down on its side, would it be able to get back up? If I'm relying on it in the battlefield or as an emergency responder, the last thing I want is 400 lbs. of my supplies getting stuck on the back of a robot that's ended up on its side and stuck. If it can get back up, then I'd say we have something that would be an awesome replacement for a Mars rover, since it can certainly climb steeper slopes, and I don't have to worry about it getting stuck anywhere.

Re:Can Big Dog be knocked over? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260553)

Look at the Big Dog videos - even the ones from several years ago showed them being pushed down on ice and having them recover. The problem with putting them on Mars is the same problem putting them in the battlefield - they're power pigs. Wheels have been chosen for the Mars rovers because they're very efficient on mostly flattish terrain.

Re:Can Big Dog be knocked over? (1)

JoeRobe (207552) | about a year and a half ago | (#41261073)

Yeah I saw the videos, which tell me that it's hard to knock Big Dog over. But I guess I was wondering what would happen if you knock it completely on its side, whether it can upright itself.

That's very good point about the power - wonder how much power this sucks up, but I'm sure it's much more than a rover of comparable size.

Re:Can Big Dog be knocked over? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41264275)

If you watch some of the Big Dog videos 'in the field', they seem to be using a rather noisy gas motor to power the thing. Looked like maybe a 10 - 20 hp Honda industrial motor from a couple of views - that's a lot of gasoline (equivalents) to be shipping to Mars. Of course, if you were to develop a Martian Dog that was designed for lower gravity, perhaps lower speed but optimized for power use and say, climbing (and durability) it might be a reasonable design.

However, the Dogs are still pretty new. I doubt JPL would change the game so dramatically in the near future. If we don't kill NASA completely, perhaps our kids will see it.

fuking great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259905)

now we'll have more ways to kill each other, why don't we make it nuclear powered, drive it over babies,
while waterboarding commies and singing god bless america.

Leaps & Bounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259909)

WildCat: faster than the fastest human, slower than the slowest cheetah

legs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41261033)

How about they replace those legs with wheels? what speed would that be, and what would they call it?

Superior Athlete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41261959)

The comparison became irrelevant when they said that Usain Bolt is still the superior athlete. A machine can never be a superior athlete as its just a machine.

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