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September 21, 2013

DARPA funds improved bullet proof robotic mule as baby steps to the Star Wars imperial walker continue

Robotics experts at unmanned vehicles expert Boston Dynamics will develop an enhanced version of the company's Legged Squad Support System (LS3) robot under terms of a $10 million contract awarded by DARPA. Boston Dynamics is developing the four-legged LS3 to help Army and Marine Corps infantry to carry as much as 400 pounds of a squad’s load, follow squad members through rugged terrain, and interact with troops in a natural way, similar to a trained animal and its handler.

The enhanced version of the LS3 system will have
* increased reliability and usability
* enhanced survivability against small arms fire
* a quiet power supply to support stealthy tactical operations.





They also have a cheetah bot. The Cheetah robot is the fastest legged robot in the World, surpassing 29 mph, a new land speed record for legged robots. The next generation Cheetah robot, WildCat, is designed to operate untethered. WildCat recently entered initial testing and is scheduled for outdoor field testing later in 2013.




Atlas is a high mobility, humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain. Atlas can walk bipedally leaving the upper limbs free to lift, carry, and manipulate the environment. In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces. Several copies of the Atlas robot are being provided as Government Furnished Equipment for the DARPA Robotics Challenge program with delivery scheduled in the summer of 2013.




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