DARPA has published a video of a Boston Dynamics robot that climbs stairs, walks on a treadmill and does push-ups.
A modified platform resembling these robots is expected to be used as government-funded equipment for performers in Tracks B and C of the DARPA Robotics Challenge.
The challenge will launch in October 2012. Teams are sought to compete in challenges involving staged disaster-response scenarios in which robots will have to successfully navigate a series of physical tasks corresponding to anticipated, real-world disaster-response requirements.
The GFE Platform is expected to have two arms, two legs, a torso and a head and will be physically capable of performing all of the tasks required for the disaster response scenarios scheduled in the challenge. However, despite the appearance of the robots in the video, the challenge is decidedly not exclusive to humanoid robot solutions.
Any designs are welcome provided they are compatible with shared human-robot environments, compatible with human tools, and compatible with human operators so that a human without expertise in robotics can give commands and confidently anticipate the response.