Quadrupedal Robotic Goat Fascinates/Horrifies in Equal Measure

Quadrupedal Robotic Goat Fascinates/Horrifies in Equal Measure

The “why” is kinda besides the point with something like this.

Bipedal (or quadrupedal) robots, like Boston Dynamics’ Atlas, test the bounds of human ingenuity, technological expression, and our very progress as a species. Who cares if they look like a cross between a llama and The Exorcist?

Boston Dynamics’ bipedal Atlas is a technological wonder (and abstract horror), but the “bi” portion introduces a host of problems – we haven’t quite mastered an artificial two-legged being that’s as steady on its feet as a human.

And that led Kawasaki to create Bex, a robotic version of an Ibex—a species of wild goat.

Right off the bat, Bex is a quadrupedal rideable robot that sorta hops around – very slowly and steadily – and is able to navigate uneven terrain with a human weighing up to 220 lbs at the “reigns.”

When terrain isn’t a factor, Bex can “kneel” down onto its wheels and move slightly faster – about the same pace as an electric scooter you’d find at Walmart.

And because not everyone wants to ride a robotic goat (or ride it at all), Bex is modular in case you want to swap the Ibex for a horse (or forgo animals altogether and just use it to haul supplies).

The military is already experimenting with robotic pack mules – or quadrupedal robotic assistants like Ghost Robotics’ quadrupedal uncrewed ground vehicles (Q-UGVs), aka robodogs – and you know they’re watching developments like this with keen interest…especially with so many of our recent battles fought in uneven, mountainous terrain.

Kawasaki revealed Bex at the 2022 International Robot Exhibition (iREX) in Tokyo last week, and the robogoat has been fascinating/horrifying the tech world ever since.

Personally, I’m very curious (and slightly terrified) at where two- and four-legged robots “go”, so to speak.