Watch: Big Dog robotic mule gets a head-arm

Four-legged robot is now capable of throwing heavy objects.

Designed as a robotic pack-mule capable of carrying heavy loads across terrain too rough for vehicles, Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog now has an arm appendage where a head would normally be. Using whole-body dynamics that include the legs and torso, the arm can be seen picking up cinderblocks and throwing them some distance away. At its best, Big Dog — developed first with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and currently from the Army Research Laboratory — was able to throw a 35 pound cinderblock 17 feet away.