Go home, robot, you’re drunk: Boston Dynamics’ BigDog can now hurl cinderblocks

bigdog throws cinderblock

Welp, time to pack up and call it a night. Boston Dynamics’ all-terrain robot BigDog, a brother bot to ones that could run 40 mph, jot, and rollover, has now learned the sweet art of destruction. In the organization’s latest video, the DARPA-funded robot has been equipped with a front-facing arm/head that could grab a concrete cinderblock and toss it aside, using its body as a force to hurl blocks at least 15 feet away.

While we can’t figure out exactly why one would ever need robots that can fling concrete bricks, the video is both amazing and terrifying all at once. Since BigDog replies on its hydraulic legs to stay steady, it’s also amusing to see the robot slightly lose balance when it first picks up the cinderblock. The destruction that cometh after, however, is a whole ‘nother story. Perhaps one could argue that a robot with the ability to pick up heavy objects and toss it away could be helpful in clearing obstructed path in military searches and missions, but it’s obvious everyone else is thinking BigDog is eventually going to be made for offense. That’s a pretty wild thought knowing that a giant automaton will possibly hurl objects at enemies – given its additional specs include a 240-pound body, legs that can run nearly 13 miles without stopping, and ability to carry 340 pounds and climb slopes up to 35 degrees under all-weather terrain. What other tricks could Boston Dynamics teach this dog? We’ll just have to wait until the team integrates voice recognition.

Scared or impressed, the development makes for an interesting video to watch, so here is BigDog in all its glory. Doesn’t it look like it had a bit too much to drink?


Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

How to use iOS 12’s Passwords and Accounts tool to autofill passwords

Keeping track of all your passwords and accounts can be a real chore. If you use an iPhone with iOS 12, then you don't have to. Here's how to use iOS 12's own password manager to autofill passwords.

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Emerging Tech

Fears about kids’ screen use may have been overblown, Oxford researchers find

Many people take it as gospel that digital technologies are harmful to young people’s mental health. But is this true? A recent study from the University of Oxford takes a closer look.
Emerging Tech

Meet Wiliot, a battery-less Bluetooth chip that pulls power from thin air

A tiny chip from a semiconductor company called Wiliot could harvest energy out of thin air, the company claims. No battery needed. The paper-thin device pulls power from ambient radio frequencies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell signals.
Emerging Tech

Hexbot is a modular robot arm that does everything from drawing to playing chess

Who wouldn’t want their own personal robot arm to do everything from laser engraving to competing against you in a game of chess? That's what Hexbot, a new modular robot, promises to deliver.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.