China's New Electric Quadruped Robot Could Be the Largest in the World

And it looks like a big yak.
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A screenshot of the robot, from China's Central Television.China Central Television / Global Times

China's state media, the Global Times, claims the country has developed the world's largest electric-powered quadruped bionic robot. And to be honest, that thing looks just like a yak.

Bizarre appearances aside, this comes as the latest in China's push to become a global leader in robotics by 2025. And also, of course, in military tech.

But, is it working?

Despite being very large and bulky, the robot can move forward and backward, and it can turn and even walk diagonally. It even sprints and dashes, and jumps high without losing its footing, thanks to an unconscionable 12 sets of joint modules. The mechanical yak is equipped with sensors to keep it in touch with the surrounding terrain and environment. It can also adapt to various types of terrains, including steps, trenches and cliffs, and even muddy roads, grasslands, deserts, and snowfields. And there's more. Beyond its adaptive abilities, the robot could also be equipped with weapons.

A bionic quadruped robot of many talents

The robot, called the “mechanical yak”, with the ability to carry up to 350 lbs (160 kg) and can reach the speed of 6.2 mph (roughly 10 km/h), is expected to be a part of reconnaissance missions in complex environments, that are too challenging for humans, such as remote border regions and highly risky combat zones. The mechanical yak is also able to collect tactical information on the battlefield.

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The quadruped bionic robot can also be used to bring supplies, like munitions and food, to plateaus, mountains, deserts, and forests, where conventional vehicles have difficulty crossing. China also has a robot dog, called Geda, that weighs 70 lbs (32 kg), and can carry a half-weight load of 88 lbs (roughly 40 kg). The robot dog is programmed to understand simple voice commands and use facial recognition.

China’s military prowess exceeds building robots, as the country claimed that it launched three warships in a day, and fired an unknown missile from a hypersonic vehicle last year. Safe to say that while China hasn't reached its goal yet, it's making incredible progress.

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