Tag Archives: Military

Big Dog and Exoskeletons

Seeing as today is Veteran’s Day, I wanted to show you the Big Dog robot, which is at once both creepy and cuddly (tell me you don’t feel for it when the guy tries to kick it over) and exoskeletons, both being developed to aid in lugging heavy equipment around often inhospitable terrain.

First up is the Big Dog, being developed by robotics firm Boston Dynamics and DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which develops new military technology and was instrumental in the creation of the original Internet.

Together, they have developed the Big Dog, a robot that can maintain balance (something that is very difficult for robots to do, so much so it has become an area of study all its own). Even when it is kicked, or placed on a hill, or sliding on ice, it can keep upright and continue along. It is able to carry about 350 pounds of equipment and maintain pace with soldiers even in adverse weather, obstacles, and inclines.

It’s loud, as you can see in the video below, so it wouldn’t be very good for covert operations, and while it may appear unnatural, I’ll say it again: try and tell me you didn’t feel for it when the guy tries to kick it over or it slips on the ice. If you’re interested, Boston Dynamics also has the ATLAS robot, that’s pretty remarkable in its own right.

Next is the exoskeleton being developed, as the linked article states, by several companies including Raytheon’s XOS 2 and Lockheed-Martin’s Fortis. Both are meant to ease the burden of carrying heavy equipment around in military operations, prevent the associated injuries and strain that can result, and perhaps most importantly, have already been used to help those who are handicapped get some movement back, even finish a marathon, and this one operates on technology developed from the mind-control technology presented in this earlier post. Amazing.

Watch it work below:

Now this is how you record fireworks!

This was surprisingly incredible. A hobbyist used a remote-controlled drone – the only kind of drone, really – to film fireworks displays from above and within. I’m not normally a fan of music behind videos, but in this case it really adds to the visuals. Plus, if you ever heard what a drone sounds like, you neeeed music.

I also should make a clarification about drones: We often think of them only in terms of their military applications, especially here in Nevada since almost all military drones around the globe are piloted from right outside Nellis Air Force Base. However there is a vast community of private drone pilots who use them for all kinds of fun stuff, this video being just one example. Here you can read about someone crashing a quadcopter, there’s another site for people who want to try building their own, and on this page you can tour locations all over the world through the use of drone-filmed footage. You can even buy them on Amazon, who wants to deliver your drones using drones in the drone future.

Anyway, on to the fireworks!


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