DARPA’s BigDog robot can throw cinder blocks farther than you

Mar 1, 2013

You may already know about the four-legged robot from DARPA and Boston Dynamics; we've talked about it in the past and how it's supposed to help out military troops by carrying supplies over rough terrain and beyond. Now, the BigDog robot can throw objects, including concrete cinder blocks. However, instead of using one of its four legs, it actually uses an extending arm (which looks to be the robot's head and neck) to throw objects.

Boston Dynamics ended up recording a video of the robot throwing the cinder block across the testing field, and it's quite impressive, but also extremely freaky and scary at the same time. You can watch as the robot grabs onto the cinder block and picks up while attempting to keep its balance. However, just as you think the robot might tip over, it flings its arm around and tosses the cinder block a good 30 feet or so.

Cinder blocks aren't light by any means. They can weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds, and most of us would have to use two hands to pick one up. After that, we'd probably only be able to throw one half the distant that the robot threw its cinder block. In any case, you now know that robots are capable of throwing heavy objects straight at you.

Of course, we're not quite sure what the implications would be for a military robot that's going to be used for carrying supplies. We're guessing the arm could be used for moving small obstacles out of the way, or maybe hurling heavy objects (like cinder blocks) at enemies. Whatever the case, we now know what robots are capable of if they ever turn on us.

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