Posted by: robotnews | April 6, 2006

Big Dog

U0205332 Yang Shaohua
Reference page:

Please watch the short vedio first. The robot so called ‘big dog’ is amazing, which is created by Boston Dynamics, USA. Besides the big dog, the institute also creats RHex,Little dog,RiSE,and much more great robotics, which can be found in the reference website with vedio.

Definitely, it can be applied widely, not only for exploring.

The Most Advanced Quadruped Robot on Earth

BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog’s legs are articulated like an animal’s, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.

BigDog has an on-board computer that controls locomotion, servos the legs and handles a wide variety of sensors. BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behavior to keep it balanced, steer, navigate, and regulate energetics as conditions vary. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, battery charge and others.

So far, BigDog has trotted at 3.3 mph, climbed a 35 degree slope and carried a 120 lb load.

BigDog is being developed by Boston Dynamics with help from Foster Miller, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Harvard University Concord Field Station.Development is funded by the DARPA Defense Sciences Office.



  1. WANG LIWANG u0205321
    By first sight, i thought there were two soldiers bend down with head to head! Really interestig, it can even balance after a sudden attack. And you may notice the diagonal feet move togehter and then the system try to balance.

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  3. Tuo Xiane U0205319
    This “Big Dog” is really amazing. It behaves just like a real dog, especially when the man kick it and it try to balance. If add a dog head for it and wrap it nicely, nobody can tell that it is a robot =)

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  5. u0205109 Wu Jinjia

    I agree with Liwang. I though it was 2 man bending inwards! Think it’s due to the way the fore and back legs are bent. Both the “knees” are bending inward which makes it look like a sprained dog. =P I guess they did it for better balancing?

    Anyway, I was impressed with the robot’s ability to travel on all kinds of surfaces. Snow, water puddles, rocky, and even going up slopes. The slope climbing was a little slow though. The balancing was rather impressive too. It can still survive a tough kick.

    One thing I noticed.. the dog could not stand still. It has to march on the spot. Perhaps that’s one of the area improvements can be made..

  6. u0204500 Ong Phian Ting

    Posting for the donno how many times after my comments were unsucceful in being published. I wanted to say that the motion of the leg were certainly impressive and intimidating at the same time.

    But just where would this development lead us to? Robotic dogs for people who loves dogs but are allegic to them? Search and recuse dog who can search a disaster area 24/7 without rest? But seriously, if i were to be found after a disaster, i would rather have a lick from a real dog than to have a humming machine in my face. If the disaster dun kill me, the sight of the robotic dog sure will scare the light out of me .. :p

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