Created by a team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Baby Elephant is a quadrapedal robot that does something special: you can ride it like a large, slow horse, hereby ushering in the era of the robotic cowboy. Baby Elephant moves about one mile-per-hour, which is definitely not very fast, but the fact that it can handle nasty terrain with a rider is pretty darn cool.
The legs have a serial-parallel hybrid mechanism and can react to slippery road surfaces as well as gravel. It can carry 100kg or 220 lbs. The team presented the robot at IRCA 2014 in Hong Kong. I, for one, welcome our human-toting horse robot overlords.