Pentagon Has a BigDog

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The U.S. Department of Defense has an agency called DARPA – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Founded in 1958 as a response to the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite, DARPA has since funded “revolutionary, high-payoff research” to keep the Pentagon supplied with the latest in defense technology.
Here is one of DARPA’s new-fangled projects — a robot called BigDog.

Developed by BostonDynamics, BigDog is a 4-legged robot designed to haul, climb, and carry heavy loads over rough terrain — whether mountain, snow, or ice.
[Source: i09]
I find the buzzing BigDog oddly touching and endearing. When I watched it being kicked by a human to test how it manages to recover its footing on slippery ice, I couldn’t help but wince in empathy — even though I know it’s “just” a machine….
The day when sophisticated robots and machines rebel against humans, as depicted in those Terminator movies, may turn out not to be far-fetched science fiction.

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0 responses to “Pentagon Has a BigDog

  1. Sage,
    I believe we instinctively feel empathy for any creature that is abused or struggling, which is what we see BigDog experiencing. I want to adopt BigDog!
    I think our discomfort comes from the fact that BigDog seems to be erasing the line between machine and sentient being….

  2. Wow! :O Impresssive, though! You’d swear it’s really just two guys in a cow suit… but it’s actually not, clearly.


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