Boston Dynamic’s Latest Robot Can Throw Cinder Blocks Farther Than You

By Brent McKnight | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Meet BigDog. BigDog may very well give you nightmares, or at least further your paranoia that, day by day, robots are inching closer and closer to staging a violent coup and taking over the world. Now they’re learning to throw, and not just to throw ball or how to play catch with you kids in the back yard when you’re too busy, this guy chucks cinder blocks all over the place, for fun.

Similar to their pack mule robot, Boston Dynamics went ahead and added a throwing arm, for some reason. Maybe their end game is to create an automaton to perform mindless repetitive tasks like stacking sandbags during a disaster like a flood or a hurricane. That makes sense, but we’ve all seen enough movies that we know the ultimate result will be that the robots become sentient and rise up against their human overlords in open revolt.

BigDog is designed to use a whole-body throwing motion, similar to human athletes like shotputters and discus throwers. It gets its entire frame into the act, from those prancing legs, up the torso, and through the neck. And whatever they’re doing sure seems to work, since BigDog wings those cinder blocks across the room like tossing a pillow. Don’t you imagine being surrounded by a herd of BigDogs, bombarding you with rocks, boulders, bricks, whatever else they can get their robotic mitts on.

Again, we can thank the fine folks at Boston Dynamics for ensuring the doom of the human race. This time they get an assist from the Army Research Lab’s RTCA program. So thanks guys.