It's been a long time coming, but the BigDog, a robotic pack mule, has just won $10 million in Pentagon funding. The robot, covered way back in 2004 by Danger Room's Noah Shachtman, is designed to carry equipment for soldiers. The petrol-engined quadruped will supposedly run and jump with its load, negotiating obstacles up to a meter (3.3 feet) high and two meters wide. As you can see from the video, the BigDog is pretty noisy, but worse than that, the naturalistic movement really creeps me out. It's like an AT-AT crossed with a rickshaw.Normally I am a big fan of DARPA, but when the rest of the world is wondering what type of empire the US is becoming, is it really wise to be building the forerunner of an AT-AT?