July 17, 2007

BigDog Quadruped Robot: I don't want to pick up after this one

I'm not afraid to say that this thing scares the s--t out of me, even while I think it's really quite amazing at the same time. Bruce Sterling (easily one of my all-time favorite sci-fi writers) wrote about his impressions a bit more eloquently:

Yeah, yeah, I know -- some boondoggle Pentagon robot. Where's the zillion-dollar spare parts? But look at the insane way this lurching mongrel picks its way through mud, sharp rocks, and snow. And those horrible little hooves it has, and its bandage-wrapped black-zombie legs... and that irritating whining noise it makes. I don't see it "running and jumping," but it's so cheap-looking and pig-ugly that it looks entirely convincing -- twenty years from now, tech-savvy global-guerrilla marauders will be strapping IEDs and AK47s onto these things and unleashing them on remote mountain villages.


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