Judging by their past experiences with BigDog and the massive improvements it has made over time, I would expect some uneven terrain demos at some point. However, just like everything else that runs on legs, it will obviously be slower in unpredictable circumstances.
I could be wrong here, but I think the goal is to have something that can transisiton from sprinting on even terrain to navigating things where wheels don't work well, Imagine this and bigdog combined.
Interesting they are using the gasolin engine for a powerplant (hydrolics?) - usually proof of concept doesn't need to deal with a "practical" power source. This thing could probably have a large range using gasoline. It was nice to see the gallop and trot - any dressage ;) We have seen others climb stairs and clear obsticles although who really knows what it's capabilities/limitations 16mph is pretty quick on legs. That is quite a large mass to move, balance and even turn - very, very impressive - and it seems to have all the logic on board - it would be nice to know how autonimous it is. It also looks like they could easily tuck the legs, or have it in a cart for transportation. Very impressive demonstration.
This is great progress. Sure it is running on a flat surface, but you have to crawl before you can walk (or run rather). Military uses aside, this is really a technology foundation for animal and/or human like assistance robots - think of the movie "iRobot". We may even see robotic pets like dogs, cats, perhaps even horses. Maybe someday replace the bulls and horses at rodeos removing the life threatening aspect? Could replace the fox in the English "fox hunt"? Could be used as horse riding training vehicles - much safer for children to learn that way? No more greyhound racing using real dogs - contestants compete instead with their latest greyhound robotic dog? I wonder why they used a combustion engine (I'm guessing some modified motorcycle), instead of an modified electric motorcycle. Maybe that's what they will do next?
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.