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Fall 2009 GRASP Seminar: Marc Raibert, Boston Dynamics, “BigDog, the rough-terrain robot – What’s done, what’s next?”

November 13, 2009 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: BigDog is a quadruped robot designed to operate in rough terrain. It
has hiked in rocky, muddy and snowy terrain, traveled 12 miles without
stopping, followed a human leader visually, and done limited autonomous
cross country travel.  This talk will give an overview of BigDog
technology, progress so far, as well as a sketch of our plans for
BigDog’s next steps.


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Marc Raibert has been the president of Boston
Dynamics since 1992. The company develops advanced dynamic robots,
such as BigDog and PETMAN, as well as human simulation products for
virtual prototyping and training. The company has ongoing robotics
R&D sponsored by the DARPA, US Army, OSD, Marine Corps, Air Force
and others.

Before founding Boston
Dynamics, Raibert was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer
Science at MIT from 1986 – 1995. Raibert’s laboratory at MIT, the Leg
Laboratory, is well known for its work on legged robots that are
biologically inspired and that moved dynamically, including one-, two-
and four-legged robots. These robots balance actively and use
ballistic flight phases as they run, bounce, jump and do gymnastic
maneuvers. Several of Boston Dynamics’ products are outgrowths of
research done by Raibert’s group at MIT.

joining MIT, Raibert was Associate Professor of Computer Science at
Carnegie-Mellon University from 1980 – 1986. One of the robots
developed there, the 3D one-legged hopper (aka The Raibert Hopper)
was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in 2008. Before
Carnegie-Mellon, Raibert was a Member of Technical Staff at the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory from 1977 – 1980.

is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, has served on a
variety of editorial boards and government panels, and has published
widely. Among his most prized publications are the BigDog videos,
which currently top the YouTube charts in the category of Science and

Dr. Raibert received his Bachelor’s of Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in 1973 and Ph.D from MIT in 1977.


November 13, 2009
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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