An overactive electronic dog knows how to keep cool, and one web site --www.lytron.com -- is even blogging about it.
Boston Dynamics, a high-tech firm in Waltham, Mass., developed BigDog, a 3' long and 24" high non-furry robot designed to climb and run on four jointed limbs. Not a lap dog, the robotic hound walks, climbs and runs up to four miles an hour, according to the web site www.bostondynamics.com, where you can view a video of the marvel in action. This version of a family pet would come in handy on a camping trip and make the kids happy because it can tote the big stuff -- up to 240 lb. But its inventor, Boston Dynamics, has more serious things in mind for its prodigy.
During test workouts through the woods (no, not to grandmother’s house), a flat-tube heat exchanger keeps BigDog from overheating, according to Lytron’s blog. And Lytron should know because liquid-cooling exchangers are a specialty of the Woburn, Mass., company. The heat exchanger rests on the front “chest” of the robot. The blog goes on to explain that flat-tube units typically cool oil, hydraulic fluid or electronics.
BigDog has kept its cool and navigated its terrain successfully enough that its designers have won a $32 million grant from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to design the next generation BigDog for the U.S. Marines.