While I’m sure there’s some scientific reason for demonstrating how the quadrupedal Big Dog can pick up and throw cinder blocks across a workshop (“Ahem, urm, we’re showing how the mass of the brick has little or no direct effect on the quadruped’s center of gravity, allowing it to carry large objects in the field, ahrm.”), I think what we’re seeing here is the first example of a nascent new robotic sport, human tossing.
What’s really going on here are experiments involving using the legs of the robots to propel objects. “This sort of dynamic approach is routinely used by human athletes and is now improving the performance of robots,” writes Big Dog’s creators at Boston Dynamics. If they only knew.
Imagine a field full of Big Dogs and some of the finest convict athletes from the off-world colonies. Zarg fakes to the left but Big Dog lunges and grabs his suit, ripping off the helmet (and head) and throwing it across the end zone. Torgo grabs a cinder block to throw at Master Big Dog but two Minor Big Dogs grab it in mid-air and toss it back, crushing a group of spectators in the stands.
Naturally, the Big Dogs always win.