BigDog Hardware and software


  • BigDog is a quadruped robot designed to help the armed forces carry heavy loads.
  • BigDog is under development at Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA.
  • BigDog Weighs 250 lb, it is 1.1 meters tall, and .3 meters wide.
  • BigDog can carry 340 Lbs, but Boston Dynamics is working to increase that.
  • BigDog is able to jump 1.1 meters.
  • Right now, BigDog's battery lasts for 2.5 hours, but Boston Dynamics is trying to achieve a goal of 20 hours.
  • BigDog has a significant ability to keep its balance when traveling but, it cannot get up after falling, Boston Dynamics is working to change that.


For the past 40 years, scientist have been working to utilize legged locomotion of robots. For example, Berns (2006) and Kar (2003). BigDog builds upon earlier these earlier robots. Boston Dynamics plans to innovate BigDog to make it much quieter and more efficient overall.

Global Impact

BigDog, could help save soldiers lives. For example, carrying gear, or transporting supplies in a time of need. BigDog will not have much affect on normal people of the USA, but it can help protect us.

Computer Components/Harware/Software

  • BigDog has about 50 sensors, including Gyro sensors, GPS, Stereo Vision, Oil Pressure, Oil flow, LIDAR, and many more. These sensors help BigDog with balance and adjusting to irregular terrain.
  • BigDog's Onboard computer is a PC104 stack, with a Pentium CPU, using a QNX real-time OS. It is programmed using C++ code. This computer performs functions like: control, sensing, data collection, communications and Electric power distribution.
  • Big Dog is not autonomous yet. BigDog is controlled by a person wearing a Vest Operator Control Unit (OCU). The OCU has a head mounter display, so the operator can see BigDog's point of view. Birddog is controlled with a controller similar to that of a video game remote.
  • BigDog is able to follow someone using its LIDAR sensor.
A Diagram of the parts Of BigDog of next to BigDog Climbing rubble


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