Epic deathmatch!!!! …okay, no, not really. But a contest nonetheless.
Robot Chimp: Designed by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence for operation on the lunar surface, our chimp, Charlie, features both quadrupedal and bipedal walking modes. He’s not fast, but he’s versatile, able to negotiate rough terrain with great stability. Here’s Charlie.
Robot Dog: There are soooo many robot dogs out there to choose from, but I think for the purposes of this Robot-Off I’m going with Boston Dynamic’s BigDog. He’s fairly quick on his feet, and he’s really hard to knock over. Everyone say hello to robopup!
Round One: Speed & Stability
Okay let’s face it, neither of these guys are fast. There are other robots out there who were designed for speed, these guys were both made for stability and for coping with rough terrain. But if you watched the video above, you saw that BigDog can match a human jogging speed, where as Charlie…well…let’s face it, he’s not exactly speedy.
But he CAN do this.
BigDog is great at recovering his balance (you saw what happened when someone kicked him. Other then me crying, that is), but he’d be off this balance board in a second.
So stability maybe a tie, but BigDog definitely takes the speed category.
Round Two: Dexterity
This is no contest. I mean, it’s hardly even fair. BigDog wasn’t designed to do much besides walk around, whereas Charlie can switch from quadrupedal to bipedal modes in order to free up his front hands.
How cool is that? Humans can’t even do that until they’re like a year old. Spines are tricky.
On the other hand, BigDog is rugged as hell, and can deal with some seriously awful terrain. Like snow. But…oh man, look at him try to recover from that fall, he looks like a spider having a seizure.
So I guess I’m tentatively giving this round to Charlie? I mean, I haven’t seen him actually do anything with those hands, but the concept is there.
Round Three: Durability and Resistance to Environmental Factors
Both these little guys were designed with harsh climates in mind. BigDog was made to function over all terrains, from sand to mud to shallow water, and even snow. He’s an all-weather robot. Charlie, on the other hand, was designed with the harshest environment of all in mind: the moon. He is meant to function in low gravity, zero atmosphere, really cold temperatures, and high levels of radiation.
So who’s the tougher robot? I’d have to say Charlie. Unless it’s raining. Then BigDog will kick his ass.
So, judges? Do we have a verdict?
Yeah. The verdict is that the robot apocalypse is going to be brutal.