If the folks at Boston Dynamics didn't terrify your most base instincts to flee from the oncoming robot armies of your nightmares yet, they're about to now. This week the Boston Dynamics WildCat has been introduced - a four-legged running robot made not only to walk on all types of terrain, but to run at full speed with bounding and galloping gaits. If you've got a dog in the room, you may want to cover their eyes before playing the demonstration video in this article.
This machine is only the latest in Boston Dynamics' series of four-legged robots made to travel on even and uneven terrain. WildCat is being developed using funding from DARPA's M3 program and follows on the heels of the machines LS3 and BigDog. What you'll find in the demonstration video in this article is a couple of runs done by WildCat, one of them galloping, the other cruising with a bound.
You'll notice also that this beast is not - by any means - a silent interceptor. Though it does run at 16MPH, it's certainly not ready for any sort of wartime movement or stealth missions. Meanwhile the BigDog is fully ready for heading to a bull run with full horn (weaponized) action. Please let us know if you feel this weaponization of the BigDog is appropriate.
Meanwhile the team at Boston Dynamics have released a couple more demonstrations this week, the first of which is another running of the LS3. You'll find the LS3 ready and willing to carry a load and walk across very uneven terrain, here appearing close enough to final production that we wouldn't be surprised if it was actually used in the field in the near future.
Finally you'll find an update on the Atlas project being worked on by Boston Dynamics. You can find out a whole lot more information on this project in the MIT unboxing and the Virtual Robotics Challenge finalists listing.
We'll be seeing a whole lot more on this beastly competition in the near future. Meanwhile - stay strong. There won't be any robotic dogs or cats coming your way down a dark alley any time soon. We'll leave that to our children's children.