Legged Squad Support System Monster BigDog Robot

A bigger BigDog robot is on order from Boston Dynamics. DARPA wants a new "robotic mule" to carry gear for soldiers in the field.


( Legged Squad Support System robot )

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.

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.

DARPA identifies these key program themes for LS3:

  1. Quadruped platform development:
    Design of a deployable walking platform with sufficient payload capacity, range, endurance, and low noise signature for dismounted squad support, while keeping weight and volume scaled to the squad level.
  2. Walking control:
    Develop control techniques that allow walking, trotting, and running/ bounding and capabilities to jump obstacles, cross ditches, recover from disturbances, and other discrete mobility features.
  3. User Interface (to include perception technologies):
    The ability for the vehicle to perceive and traverse its immediate terrain environment autonomously with simple methods of Marine/Soldier control.
SF readers have been waiting for quadruped robotic helpers, thanks to Anthony Boucher's 1951 short story The Quest for Saint Aquin:

He... took his first opportunity to inspect the robass in full light. He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs, so necessary since roads had degenerated... the side wheels that could be lowered into action if surface conditions permitted; and above all the smooth black mound that housed the electronic brain - the brain that stored commands and data concerning ultimate objectives and made its own decisions on how to fulfill those commands in view of those data...
(Read more about the robass)

From DARPA (PDF) via IEEE.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/1/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'- Philip K. Dick, 1955.

What Are Robots Thinking?
'Your clothes... give them to me.'- James Cameron, 1984.

Competing With Blue Collar Robots
'With the chronic worry of the unemployed, he... ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'- Harry Harrison, 1956.

Robot Bartenders At Sea
'We've promised him a generous pension from the royalties on usuform barkeeps...'- Anthony Boucher, 1943.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Foodini 3D Printer
''...Food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks.'

Parrot Bebop Drone Pairs With Your Smartphone
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight [using] an image of all that the lens eye saw.'

SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.

Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'

Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'

USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'

CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'

Shape-Shifting Carbon Fiber
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
'The effect (described as timeless, sustained ecstasy) is elicited by certain atonal vibrations...'

Mind Control Of Gene Expression In Mice
'We used your thought images almost entirely...'

Nixie Wrist-Ready Flying Selfie-Cam Drone
'He set his camera to follow him...'

DARPA Wants Airborne Launch Facility For Drones
This was tried with recon craft in WWII.

Lit Motors Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'

Neuromorphic Brain-Chip Takes Flight
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

What Are Robots Thinking?
'Your clothes... give them to me.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.