The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) have been working on the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) for years. This creepy, “thinking” robot is designed to help troops carry equipment on terrain that is normally not suitable for vehicles. The latest advancements are demonstrated below, showing improved maneuverability, voice commands, stability controls, and recovery abilities.
When it falls, it can get back up. Fortunately, it doesn’t fall very often even in difficult terrain.
In this video, they demonstrate the ability to “follow the leader” and make decisions of how to make that happen. With the ability to carry 400 lbs of equipment, a working LS3 can prove to be very useful.
“This was the first time DARPA and MCWL were able to get LS3 out on the testing grounds together to simulate military-relevant training conditions,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Hitt, DARPA program manager. “The robot’s performance in the field expanded on our expectations, demonstrating, for example, how voice commands and “follow the leader” capability would enhance the robot’s ability to interact with warfighters. We were able to put the robot through difficult natural terrain and test its ability to right itself with minimal interaction from humans.”
This demonstration was recorded at Fort Pickett in Virginia.