If you fear the robot apocalypse, perhaps your day would be much improved if you just moved on. Boston Dynamics’ PETMAN robot, developed for DARPA, is getting more humanoid-like by the day it seems, and here we see it--legs, torso, arms, and all--negotiating staircases, running on a treadmill, and even hitting the floor for some pushups. All this strength training appears to be doing PETMAN some good.
A modified version of this platform will be used as the government-funded equipment for the tracks of DARPA’s Robotics Challenge that only require teams to develop a software component. In other words if you can write a good piece of software for this high-stepping humanoid, DARPA might just let you try it out.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.