The Washington Post

Boston Dynamics’ robot animals might give Battlestar Galactica fans night terrors

If you squint just hard enough and watch Boston Dynamic’s robotic animals in motion, you might confuse them with some form of early-generation Cylon and freak out.

That’s if your a “Battlestar Galactica” fan. If not, then it may just look super cool.

The company started as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was founded as a separate company in 1992. Videos of their robots including “Big Dog,” “Cheetah” and “LS3,” which looks a lot like a horse. Among the company’s clients are Uncle Sam, in the form of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Sony is also listed among its clients

The company is also behind the DI-Guy simulation software, used, according to the company’s documentation, “by all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces” and a number of top-level, private defense contracting firms.

The Washington Post’s Daniel de Vise pinned down an interview with founder and National Academy of Engineering member Marc Raibert back in March. He also has the story on Boston Dynamics’ “Cheetah” breaking the robo-speed record by going 18 mph.

Cheetah has since cleared 28.3 mph, reports Singularity Hub’s Jason Dorrier:

Then there’s LS3, which Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz reports is now able to follow its master, all but eliminating the need for remote control.

Not making news, but probably the most Cylon-themed-nightmare-inducing one of all, is PETMAN, a humanoid robot with a glowing red emergency light for a head.

Read more news and ideas on Innovations:

Vivek Wadhwa | Hey, Apple & Amazon, get under $100

Bill Moggridge, designer of modern laptop, dies at 69

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