moon_monkey writes "New Scientist has a story about a nimble, four-legged robot that can recover its balance even after being given a hefty kick." From the article: "The project is sponsored by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who want the robotic pack mule to assist soldiers in terrain too tough for vehicles. Ground-based soldiers often need to carry 40 kilograms of equipment. Raibert says the latest version of BigDog can handle slopes of 35 - a steeper gradient than one in two. The hydraulics are driven by a two-stroke single-cylinder petrol engine, and it can carry over 40 kg, about 30% of its bodyweight. The robot can follow a simple path on its own, or can be remotely controlled."