Boston Dynamics Wins Darpa Contract To Develop LS3 Robot Mule (It’s a Bigger BigDog)
This robot mule will be able to navigate rough terrain, carrying 180 kilograms of soldier gear — no driver required
POSTED BY: Erico Guizzo // Mon, February 01, 2010
A bigger BigDog is coming.
Boston Dynamics, developer of BigDog and PETMAN, announced today that it has won a Darpa contract to develop a new robot mule to help soldiers on foot carry gear in the field.
The robot, called Legged Squad Support System, or LS3, will be able to navigate rough terrain, carrying 180 kilograms (~400 pounds) of load and enough fuel for missions covering 32 kilometers (~20 miles) and lasting 24 hours.
Boston Dynamics says LS3 won’t need a driver, because it will automatically follow a human leader using computer vision or travel to designated locations using sensors and GPS.
Breeding, er, building the robot will take 30 months and cost US $32 million. The first LS3 prototype is expected to debut in 2012.
“If LS3 can offload 50 lbs [23 kg] from the back of each solider in a squad, it will reduce warfighter injuries and fatigue and increase the combat effectiveness of our troops,” Marc Raibert, president of Boston Dynamics and principal investigator for the program, said in a statement.
The company, based in Waltham, Mass., is teaming up with the likes of Bell Helicopter, Carnegie Mellon, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, among others, to develop LS3.
The LS3 follows on the footsteps of BigDog, and Raibert expects the new robot to make “a major leap forward.” We can’t wait for the videos.
Illustration: Boston Dynamics
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.