"Sallie Gardner at a Gallop," 1878, vs. "WildCat" robot prototype, 2013.

“Sallie Gardner at a Gallop,” 1878, vs. “WildCat” robot prototype, 2013.

I’m pretty sure whoever edited this recent video from Boston Dynamics showing their WildCat robot prototype galloping across a parking lot had Eadweard Muybridge’s work of 120 years ago in mind, especially during the slow-motion sequence starting around 1:04. When I saw the video this morning I was struck by the parallels and decided to animate them side-by-side. Here are the individual frames:


It’s a pretty unscientific affair. No effort has been made to correlate the timescales. Basically I extracted frames from the WildCat video and then cherry-picked Muybridge’s stills to match. The hind-leg gaits seem more similar to me than the front.

My money is still on the horse. For now.