In the video below, you can see an AlphaDog prototype trot along like a mechanical horse. It smoothly steps over loose rocks and a pipe, rebounds after a two-person shove, and rights itself when it’s on its side. The technology is an evolution of BigDog, which could catch itself when skidding across ice and carry 340 pounds.
This motorized mule (officially dubbed Legged Squad Support Systems, or LS3) will be able to carry 400 pounds nonstop for up to 24 hours (or 20 miles) over rugged terrain. This could be a great boon to combat soldiers, who have to lug over a hundred pounds of payload. And rather than need a human driver, AlphaDog will use computer vision to follow a squadron leader on its own, or GPS to go to a predetermined location, according to Boston Dynamics.
The first completed version, funded by DARPA and the US Marine Corps, is aimed for 2012.
Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever
Funders of a deep-pocketed new "rejuvenation" startup are said to include Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner.
All charges against China Initiative defendant Gang Chen have been dismissed
MIT professor Gang Chen was one of the most prominent scientists charged under the China Initiative, a Justice Department effort meant to counter economic espionage and national security threats.
Going bald? Lab-grown hair cells could be on the way
These biotech companies are reprogramming cells to treat baldness, but it’s still early days.
A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click
Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.