US Military Tests “Robotic Mule” With Soldiers

PhilHaney by PhilHaney on Jul. 14, 2014

This week the military tested a robot helper, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3), more commonly referred to as the “Robotic Mule” during exercises in Hawaii. The robot can carry 400 pounds of supplies and travel twenty miles before refueling. Sounds better than my old Kia.

The enemy will never hear them coming.

Invented by Boston Dynamics the LS3 robot has been in development for over three years. Here you can see early video of the robot moving through a forest when it was known as the “Big Dog.” I think calling it a robotic mule sounds creepier, and robotic dog sounds more intimidating. Is robotic camel too tame?

The military hopes that the four legged automaton will take the burden of carrying heavy supplies off of soldiers who sometimes have to carry upwards of 100 pounds in the field. The robot will be able to follow a squad of soldiers through rugged terrain while reducing the amount of equipment that they have to wear. Other developments in this area have included research into robotic exoskeletons that give soldiers added strength.

What do you think, is the military’s “Robot Mule” a step in the right direction, or is this the beginning of the end?

Have a robot chase Phil Haney @PhilHaney