This article is from WeChat official account:The Heart of the Machine (ID: almosthuman2014), author: Zhang Qian

Some time ago, the Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Spot officially went on sale, and buyers have already posted the first unpacking video. The Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Project was funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The original intention was to develop a mechanical mule capable of carrying heavy loads, together with soldiers Fight on rough terrain that traditional mechanical vehicles cannot travel. In 2005, the release of Spot’s predecessor, the “Big Dog” robot dog, made Boston Dynamics famous.

The “Big Dog” robot dog released by Boston Dynamics.

But what many people don’t know is that Boston Dynamics Spot is not actually the earliest “robotic dog” funded by DAPRA. A project called “ASV” is more than 20 years earlier than it.

ASV is a behemoth with a height of 3 meters and a length of 5.18 meters. The width has reached 2.4 meters, which is equivalent to a truck, so some media call itAs the “walking truck”.

Boston Dynamics Robot Dog: “Is this my dad?”

Such a big guy is also quite awe-inspiring:

‍This project started in January 1981 and was funded by DARPA and was created by two professors at Ohio State University, Robert McGhee and Kenneth Waldron. The original intention of the project was to create a footed robot to complete tasks in terrain where tank tracks cannot travel.

‍Different from the Boston Dynamics Spot, there is an operator inside the ASV, and in some cases manually operate the six legs of the machine:

‍In order to reduce the physical and mental energy spent by the operator during the operation, 17 computers are installed in this huge object.

According to today’s standards, these computers are actually very rudimentary. The six bulky rectangular boxes on the shoulders of the robot are actually where the computer is located. Each box contains an Intel “86/30” 128k, 8-bit computer to control the movement of the robot’s legs.

The remaining 11 computers are responsible for different tasks, such as controlling the CRT display in the operator’s cockpit, analyzing the data collected by the pressure sensors on the legs and feet, and scanning the data from the rangefinder based on the 128×128 pixels in the cockpit Determine the best place to stay, etc. All these data are interpreted by the operating software, which is written in Pascal and contains 150,000 lines of source code. And these codes have only one task: let the ASV roam.

In the cockpit, the operator controls the ASV’s walking route with the help of buttons and joysticks.