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Robotics The Military

BigDog Robot Gets Much Bigger 158

savuporo writes "Well known Boston Dynamics BigDog prototype now has a bigger brother named 'LS3' or Legged Squad Support System. It's intended to carry heavy loads for long treks and have enough autonomy to follow soldiers around, listen to voice commands and navigate autonomously."

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BigDog Robot Gets Much Bigger

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  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:00PM (#38972109) Homepage

    This looks like an intermediate prototype of the LS3. The specs call for a quieter power plant, which has to run on standard military diesel fuel. There's a subcontractor working on that. Clearly, that hasn't been integrated yet.

    The LS3 is supposed to be about the same size as BigDog, but with with much stronger legs. That's clearly what's being tested here. BigDog wasn't strong enough to get up from the ground, while the video here shows this machine getting up. It took a lot of custom hydraulics to do that, which is why Boston Dynamics teamed with a hydraulics company.

    Also, the sensor suite is much more elaborate, indicating that the autonomy level is being increased. BigDog handled balance and locomotion, but was guided by a human with a remote.

    What we're seeing here is that some of the hard problems have been solved. Now the design will presumably be cleaned up for production.

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