A Collection of Articles
Edit

A View from Kristina Grifantini

Just What Soldiers Need: A Bigger Robotic Dog

A next-generation robotic dog will help soldiers.

  • September 30, 2011

After BigDog, LittleDog, and Petman, we now have a glimpse of the newest intimidating robot from Boston Dynamics: AlphaDog.

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.

Gain the insight you need on robotics at EmTech Digital.
Register today

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.

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider basic

$29.95/yr US PRICE

Subscribe
What's Included
  • 1 year (6 issues) of MIT Technology Review magazine in print OR digital format
  • Access to the entire online story archive: 1997-present
  • Special discounts to select partners
  • Discounts to our events

You've read of free articles this month.