Military Robotics

DARPA LS3, robotic "pack mule"

Posted 7 Feb 2012 at 21:52 UTC (updated 8 Feb 2012 at 00:59 UTC) by IKE_RobotsPodcast Share This

The famous ‘Big Dog’, a quadruped robot with a characteristic life-like appearance evolved into the new Legged Squad Support System (LS3), which recently underwent its first outdoor test. The new LS3 like its predecessor is a highly mobile, semi-autonomous legged robot. It use vision sensors (DARPA calls them ‘eyes’) to follow a person and also to map its path while avoiding or navigating over obstacles like rocks, trees etc. Over the next 18 months it will be tested thoroughly in order to be able to operate along a squad of Marines or soldiers. LS3 should carry 400lbs of cargo on a 20 mile trek in 24h without refuel. It could follow a specific person, track people, objects and the terrain in front of it while creating its own course. Along with its vision sensors, “hearing” technology will be added enabling soldiers to address it and command it with simple orders like “stop”, “sit” etc. The end result will be similar to a clever robot mule that will follow and obey to simple commands. You can find more info in DARPA’s press release and at the website of Boston Dynamics.

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