Starship Troopers is one of my favorite films, so I just couldn’t help but warm to this sort of rough-trade, clacking, kind of crude robot who is the total doppelgänger of the film’s “bad guys.” This robot, nicknamed BigDog, could already run four miles per hour and carry over 300 pounds, but its creators at Boston Dynamics (some dudes from MIT) apparently decided it was time for it to learn a useful trade. And that trade is throwing cinderblocks. Watch it do so below.
Boston Dynamics’ expressed goal is: “Changing Your Idea of What Robots Can Do.” OK, well, fair enough; I never thought about whether a robot could or could not throw a cinderblock, and now I know that one can. I imagine the ability to grab an object and put it in motion would be useful for a robot. Like we could replace baseball pitchers and ditch diggers with robots. Downton Abbey could get a robot to play on its cricket team. But why does the thing have to stomp around so much when it’s tossing the cinderblock? It makes him seem upset. If this thing is going to work, I’d like to see a little bit more love for the game.