An overactive electronic dog knows how to keep cool, and one web site is even blogging about it.

While it does not work up an actual sweat, the BigDog robot can overheat as it transports loads up to 240 lb. A heat exchanger built onto its chest keeps its temperature normal.
BigDog image courtesy of Boston Dynamics © 2009


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.

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