Remember how, back in April, we witnessed a group of Boston Dyanmics’ SpotMini robots pull a truck?
Well, a new robot dog is here to add some competition to the game: the HyQReal robot from the Italian Institute of Technology (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) managed to pull a three ton Piaggio P180 Avanti passenger airplane about 33 feet across the Genova Airport in Italy last week, all by itself.
Claudio Semini, Project Leader at the Institute’s Dynamic Legged Systems lab has said in a press statement that pulling the plane allowed them “to demonstrate the robot’s strength, power-autonomy and the optimized design. We wanted to achieve something that has never been done before, and we succeeded last week.”
Admittedly, the HyQReal is quite large: it stands at 4 feet, 4 inches (1.3m) in length and is 3 feet (90cm) tall, with a weight of 287 pounds (130Kg). Out of those 287 pounds, 15 of those amount for just the battery alone, which gives the robot a runtime of about two hours of work.
The HyQReal is water and dust-resistant, can gets itself back up if it tips over and features high-powered hydraulics that the Institute created in collaboration with components group Moog.
While that might sound impressive, the researchers hope to design an even more durable robot that will be put to use in disaster situations as well as in agriculture or inspections.
For now though, the HyQReal is still a prototype, strange as that might seem, considering, but the Institute said that there’s still a lot more work to be done on the robot.
What are they working on next? An arm? Other miscellaneous attachments? We’ll have to wait and see but it’s exciting to see some worthy competition on the robo-dog market.