China develops world's largest quadruped bionic robot for delivery, reconnaissance tasks
China has developed the world's largest electric-powered quadruped bionic robot, which is expected to join logistics delivery and reconnaissance missions in complex environments that have proven too challenging for human soldiers, including remote border regions and highly risky combat zones.
Walking on four legs and boasting a yak-like appearance - which has led some to dub it as a mechanical yak - the robot independently developed by China is the world's largest, heaviest and most off-road-capable of its kind, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
Judging from the report clips, the machine is more than half as tall as an adult while walking, and its length is about two times its height.
It can carry up to 160 kilograms, and despite its large size, it can run at up to 10 kilometers an hour, CCTV reported.
The mechanical yak is equipped with sensors to be aware of the surrounding terrain and environment, and it has displayed a very strong adaptative ability to various types of terrains including steps, trenches and cliffs, not to mention muddy roads, grasslands, deserts and snow fields.
Thanks to 12 sets of joint modules, the robot can move forward and backward, turn, walk diagonally and sprint in a stable manner, the report said.
The quadruped bionic robot can be deployed to deliver supplies including munitions and food in environments like plateaus, mountains, deserts and forests where normal vehicles have difficult time traversing, CCTV said.
Another potential use is close-in reconnaissance, as it can persistently gather battlefield intelligence and monitor target movements even in complex environments that have proven to be too challenging for human soldiers, CCTV said.
It will also play a vital role in highly risky combat zones, as it can replace some human scouts and delivery teams and reduce casualties, the expert said.