Sept. 24, 2013
The 4-legged, driverless LS3 — for the Legged Squad Support System — from Boston Dynamics is already a rough-terrain robot that can handle running into trees and falling into ditches. It’s designed to go where marines and soldiers go on foot, helping to carry up to 400 pounds of gear and enough fuel to last 20 miles and 24 hours.
Now, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants the next generation LS3 to be stealthy, bulletproof, and read for action. They’ve awarded the company an extra $9,983,844 modification.
According to a U.S. Department of Defense release last week:
LS3 seeks to demonstrate that a legged robot can unburden dismounted squad members by carrying their gear, autonomously following them through rugged terrain, and interpreting verbal and visual commands.
… the modification adds additional tasks to the contract for the development of an enhanced version of the LS3 system with increased reliability and usability, enhanced survivability against small arms fire and a quiet power supply to support stealthy tactical operations.