We have seen our fair share of robotic goodness from Boston Dynamics in the past, and you know for sure this is a company that is not happy to rest on their laurels, hence the Sand Flea and RHex robots. These two will not be as obvious as the Big Dog, but rather, it will play the role of tiny reconnaissance robots for the U.S. Army. Currently undergoing the testing phase, let us check out in further detail as to what both the Sand Flea and RHex are capable of (in addition to their respective videos, of course).
They are currently shipped away to the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) in order to pass safety and reliability assessments, where RHex functions as a six-legged, 30-pound crawling bot that can make its way through mud, streams, and rocky terrain, with an adventuring spirit that lasts up to half a dozen hours on a single battery charge. Not only that, it can handle slopes, climb stairs and take a swim underwater while sending back video feedback of its surroundings – as long as it remains within a 650 yard radius of its controller.
As for the Sand Flea, it certainly lives up to its name by leap up to heights of 30 feet over obstacles whenever it is not going around on its four wheels. Capable of jumping 25 times on a full battery charge, it does help that the Sand Flea tips the scales at just 11 pounds. It would be interesting to see just what kind of missions the Sand Flea and RHex will be involved in upon approval for service.
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