This must be one of the freakiest things you'll see this week - impressive - but you'll probably want to run away run away from this thing even faster than you would a rottweiler.

Big Dog is the result of Boston Dynamics' brief to create "a robot with animal-like strength, speed and mobility".

The project was backed by the US Department of Defense who wanted a quadruped pack-robot capable of carrying soldiers' kit into battle, and so it needed to be able to traverse rough terrain including slopes of up to 45 degrees.

And, using a $10 million Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) award, it seems they managed it as the Big Dog not only walks up hills but slips and slides but stays standing on ice, and even after a mighty shove from one of its creators.

According to Boston Dynamics, it can carry 154kg, triple its previous load.

But there's no word yet on when our men in uniform will have their new canine friends.