There are many situations, such as those in emergency environmental conditions, where we are limited in crossing land due to safety limitations. Additionally normal vehicles have difficulty navigating uneven terrain. Google recently acquired Boston Dynamics, which describes itself as ‘an engineering company that specializes in building dynamic robots and software for human simulation.’ This company lists 9 robots on its website, each with a different shape, function, speed to perform a variety of tasks. The machines are impressive in size and ability to simulate locomotion on uneven terrain and different inclines. One of these robots is “BigDog,”a crude-looking beast which weighs in at 240 lbs and is about 2.5 feet tall, designed to mimic the size of a large dog or mule. This robotic animal ‘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.’ Unlike a car which is limited in uneven terrain, this machine can stand, walk, trot, run, crawl, and gallop. Components include heat exchanger, engine, computer, actuators, leg spring, and force sensor. Simulated animal joints include hip, knee, ankle and foot. Though this machine is still being improved for noise, righting, autonomy and navigating even rougher terrain, it can provide many uses in which we are currently limited.

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