A nimble, four-legged robot is so surefooted it can recover its balance even after being given a hefty kick. The machine, which moves like a cross between a goat and a pantomime horse, is being developed as a robotic pack mule for the US military.
"Internal force sensors detect the ground variations and compensate for them," says company president and project manager Marc Raibert. "And BigDog's active balance allows it to maintain stability when we disturb it."
Raibert says the latest version of BigDog can handle slopes of 35° -- a steeper gradient than one in two. The hydraulics are driven by a two-stroke single-cylinder petrol engine, and it can carry over 40 kg, about 30% of its bodyweight. The robot can follow a simple path on its own, or can be remotely controlled.
Athens, Ohio (AP) -- Authorities shut down four buildings at Ohio University after a police officer noticed a sticker that said "this bike is a pipe bomb" before finding out the message was the name of a punk rock band, a university spokesman said.
The bomb squad pried apart the bike with a hydraulic device normally used to rescue accident victims trapped in cars, acting Athens Fire Chief Ken Gilbraith said. Once they had it open, they saw there was no bomb.
The buildings were reopened after about two hours.
Dean of Students Terry Hogan asked that fans of the Pensacola, Fla., band be more careful when showing support in the future.
Oh, but it gets better:
Patrick K. Hanlin, 28, was charged by university police Thursday after he came forward as the bike's owner, Jeffery said. The charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail.
The band's name prompted police in Austin, Texas to detain a woman who had the same sticker on her bike at a peace rally in 2001. She was released after officers verified that the band exists.