Saw this video of LittleDog, a 4-legged robot programmed by Stan Schaal from USC and built by Boston Dynamics and was amazed by it's ability to work it's way up and over a pile of rocks. I immediately did some searching and came up with links to Boston Dynamics and an article on BotJunkie. Boston Dynamics has four robots in development(links are to YouTube videos):
- Big Dog (a large four legged robot)
- RHex (an all terrain, even water, robot)
- Little Dog (same video as below)
- RiSe (little bugger climbs walls and trees)
Here are some other LittleDog related links. Reading is probably a little to high for middle schoolers but a high schooler passionate about robotics would find these interesting.
- A Research Abstract, "LittleDog Learning Locomotion Project"
- DARPA specs on the robot and goals, Learning Locomotion Proposer Information Pamphlet
- Stan Schaal's work on Legged Locomotion via his Home Page at USC
[Image: Jackel, Larry. "Learning Locomotion Proposer Information Pamphlet." IPTO Information Processing Technology Office. 06 Mar 2006. DARPA. 19 Sep 2007