A four-legged robot called BigDog sporting an arm powerful enough to lift and throw cinder blocks could be used in search and rescue, a U.S. robotics firm says.
BigDog, by U.S. robotics firm Boston Dynamics, was funded by the Pentagon and is designed primarily for military use, with a powerful arm that can pick up and carry heavy loads for soldiers.
In a company video the robot is featured lifting a cinder block with an arm and then flinging it backwards.
The robot can move over rugged terrain while carrying a load, perform simple tasks and obey voice commands.
Chris Melhuish, director of Bristol Robotics Laboratory, called it a "a phenomenal piece of technology."
Its ability to follow a person and obey commands made it "an interesting navigation machine which might end up useful in other domain, such as search and rescue," he told the BBC.
"[Imagine] setting off these units across a rough terrain if they were looking for a lost child or a walker on a mountainside," he said.
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