Big Dog quadroped robot

Another video that has come to my attention via Boing Boing:

I’m amazed by this video in two ways. First, the technology. I mean, if you saw a movie with a mechanical pack mule like this, you’d assume it was a special effect. Or at least you would have a few short years ago. Sci-fi to sci-fact, indeed.

But second, it freaks me out how quickly I can start feeling empathy for a machine. When the guy pushes Big Dog to try to tip it over, my immediate reaction was along the lines of “That was mean!”. And when the robot stumbles and almost loses its footing and scrabbles for purchase, I find myself feeling sorry for it.

So am I a freak? Did anyone else have that kind of reaction?