BigDog Overview

Publication/Creation Date
March 1 2010
Boston Dynamics (creator)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA (contributor)
Media Type
Corporate Video
Persuasive Intent
BigDog has four legs that are articulated like an animal’s, with compliant elements to absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule.

BigDog's on-board computer controls locomotion, processes sensors, and handles communications with the user. BigDog’s control system keeps it balanced, manages locomotion on a wide variety of terrain, and does navigation. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a gyroscope, LIDAR, and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine functions, battery charge, and others.

Development of the original BigDog robot was funded by DARPA. 

In this video, BigDog climbs in the woods, keeps its balance when kicked and when slipping on ice, travels through snow and mud, jogs 5 mph, and climbs some rubble.

In Black Mirror's season 4 episode entitled "MetalHead", director David Slade reported that he used Boston Dynamics' videos as inspiration for the four-legged, robo-dogs that hunt people down in the stark, dystopian landscape. 
HCI Platform
Discursive Type
Location on Body
Entire Body
Marketing Keywords
Boston Dynamics, BigDog, Black Mirror