This is spot. But he's not your average cuddly pooch. In fact, little Spot would probably crush you if he ever decided to jump up into your lap (fortunately, that's highly unlikely).

This is a 160 pound robot that was developed by Boston Dynamics, which is owned by Google. Like most dogs, he has for legs, a torso, and a Unlike most dogs, he doesn't actually have to eat, or sleep, or go through potty training. However, he is able to move about on his own, which he does with the help of a head-mounted sensor, and he can climb stairs, go uphills, and walk through rough and woody terrain.

Many of the robots were created in order to learn about locomotion and, ultimately, develop technologies that can be utilized to carry equipment and, perhaps, aid in military efforts. The company outlines their work with robotics technology on their website:

Boston Dynamics builds advanced robots with remarkable behavior: mobility, agility, dexterity and speed. We use sensor-based controls and computation to unlock the capabilities of complex mechanisms. Our world-class development teams take projects from initial concept to proof-of-principle prototyping to build-test-build engineering, to field testing and low-rate production.

The other version of Spot is known as BigDog. As the name implies, BigDog is, well, big. He is the size of a small mule, approximately 3 feet long, 2.5 feet tall and weighs some 240 lbs. BigDog was created with the army in mind, and to give you a better idea of his impressive specs, the company asserts, "BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, climbs muddy hiking trails, walks in snow and water, and carries 340 lb load."

Boston Dynamics has also developed robots that look (and function) like humans. Atlas is a robot that stands upright, and the company hopes that his hands will enable him to use tools designed for human use. His device is a rather complex feat of engineering, including 28 hydraulically-actuated degrees of freedom.

See the dog in action in the video below. You will want to watch until at least 30 second in, where a man tries to kick the dog over, with impressive results.

Share This Article