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 ")

Why Not Nurse Grandma With A Robot?
'She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments...'- David Keller, 1928.

Should Robots Have Civil Rights?
'I've seen things... you people wouldn't believe...'- Blade Runner.

Toshiba's Lifelike Communication Android
Philip K. Dick offered a glimpse into this future in 1968.

Most Advanced Robotic Hand?
'Hands I could order from the atomics-engineering equipment companies...'- Robert Heinlein, 1956.

 

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

Will You Upload Your Mind Anytime Soon?
And if so, how long will the copy last?

Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
'First he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars...'

'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
'...projects directly on the retina of the eye…'

3D Printer Vending Machine Dispenses Dreams
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Why Not Nurse Grandma With A Robot?
'She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments...'

Flock Of Minisats Will Image The Earth
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'

Robert Heinlein, Your Self-Driving Car Is Almost Ready!
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Should Robots Have Civil Rights?
'I've seen things... you people wouldn't believe...'

The Manned Maneuvering Unit Story
'Little spurts of red-orange flame from the reaction pistol marked his companion's trail...'

Scheherazade, An Open Story Generator
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'

Sample The In Vitro Meat Cookbook
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'

'Diamond Nanothreads' Now, Someday Space Elevators?
'It is a continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal'

Erased Memories In A Flash Of Light
'Someone, probably at a government military-sciences lab, erased his conscious memories...'

'Artificial Spleen' Cleans The Blood
'The workability of wholly mechanical organs... '

Raffia, The Google Streetview Camel
The old and the new, together.

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.