Robots of the Week


Written by Kieron Monks
27 Wednesday 27th January 2010

With a shed load of funding from the US military behind them, it's no wonder that Boston Dynamics are leading the way when it comes to super smart robots. They can climb, run, swim and skate - skills which are enhanced by a built in survival instinct. All their models are based on animals, giving them a distinctive but creepy effect.

BigDog is a heavy duty, rough terrain brute that can handle any environment form snow to baking heat. The BigDog can move at 4mph while carrying a 340lb load. Inbuilt shock absorbers prevent it from falling over, even when kicked by hooligans.

'Rise' has six legs and can climb virtually any vertical terrain, with micro claws that can become sticky if necessary. It is engineered to have perfect balance at all times, aided by a tail. Rise is being fine-tuned to adapt to climbing glass and metal. An onboard "brain" computer controls leg movement and a range of sensors.


Squishbot is straight out of H.R. Giger's frightening fantasies. Capable of changing its texture from hard to soft, the squishbot can infiltrate even the least accommodating openings. A more advanced version of BD's previous slug robots, El Squishy will be able to change its dimensions by a factor of ten.

And one from our creative friends in Japan...

The Fukushima Robotics lab have pioneered the swimming snake robot - as scary as it is groundbreaking. The same designers have also come up with a robotic manta ray, capable of travelling through treacherous chasms without need of a human pilot.

ACM-R5 Snake


Check out Boston Dynamics and all their latest innovations here

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