Looking like a robotic mule, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will carry 400 pounds of equipment for US soldiers and Marines over rugged terrain inaccessible by vehicle – terrain like the mountains of Afghanistan.
[see video Boston Dynamics Big Dog]
In Afghanistan, US soldiers and Marines can carry 50 pounds of equipment, and in some cases over 100 pounds, for long distances over difficult terrain. According to DARPA’s plan, the LS3 will be capable to carry 400 pounds of payload for 20 miles in 24 hours.
And the good news is that system can take care of itself. LS3 will be fully autonomous, able to perceive the terrain and adjust its movements accordingly. Fully loaded, the LS3 will weigh no more than 1,250 pounds.
To get the program off the ground, so to speak, DARPA recently awarded a $32 million, 30-month contract to Boston Dynamics of Waltham, MA to develop LS3 prototypes…
Boston Dynamics’ partners on the LS3 program include Bell Helicopter, AAI Corp., Carnegie Mellon University, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Woodward HRT.
From Defense Industry Daily
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