DARPA's latest footage of LS3 robodog astounds

If you've never seen DARPA's version of Boston Dynamics' semi-autonomous LS3 (Legged Squad Support System) robot in action, now's a good time.

The government agency released a video yesterday that highlights one of LS3's most powerful skills: the ability to follow a leader by using computer-aided vision and GPS. In the four-minute clip, you can watch the dog-like robot following an instructor over some rough terrain -- with great ease -- in a wooded area near Fort Pickett, Va. … Read more

Run! DARPA's LS3 robot mule follows you around

Let the human-hunting games begin. Boston Dynamics has a new video of its oversized beast pursuing defenseless human meatsacks through a forest.

The Legged Squad Support System (LS3), aka AlphaDog, is designed to carry 400 pounds of payload and travel 20 miles without refueling. It's funded by DARPA and the U.S. Marine Corps and is meant to support troops in rugged terrain.

The latest video shows the cow-size monster clambering over rocks and up steep hillsides with heavy weights on its sides. It charges through bushes without a thought. … Read more

Army starts testing bots inspired by sand fleas, roaches

Boston Dynamics, creator of the very awesome BigDog and a menagerie of other bots, is sending two small reconnaissance robots to the U.S. Army for testing.

Sand Flea and RHex, developed with funding from the Army's Rapid Equipping Force, are off to the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) to pass safety and reliability assessments.

Three RHex units have already been delivered to ATEC and Sand Fleas will join them later this year, Boston Dynamics said in a release. The machines could improve soldiers' awareness of threats in war zones.

RHex is a six-legged, 30-pound crawling bot inspired … Read more

DARPA's Cheetah becomes fastest legged robot

DARPA is quickly becoming the supplier of my nightmares.

As if the monstrous AlphaDog wasn't intimidating enough, it now has a feline friend, the "Cheetah," that will certainly have you running for the hills. Chances are you won't be able to outrun it, though.

Created by Boston Dynamics, Cheetah is allegedly now the fastest legged robot on the planet. DARPA released a video today showing the bot running at various speeds on a laboratory treadmill, ultimately hitting its maximum speed of 18 mph. This breaks the previous land-speed record of 13.1 mph set back in 1989. … Read more

Run! Here comes BigDog's bigger brother

Meet AlphaDog--it's BigDog on steroids.

This is our first glimpse of the brother of Boston Dynamics' robotic beast of burden, BigDog.

The vid below shows a lab prototype of the quadruped war robot, aka the Legged Squad Support System, or LS3, funded by DARPA and the Marine Corps.

The donkey-sized machine is designed to carry up to 400 pounds of gear and follow troops over rough terrain on missions of 20 miles and up to 24 hours.

That's more than BigDog's payload of 340 pounds and 12 miles; as a general rule, horses can comfortably carry up to 240 pounds. AlphaDog will have some degree of autonomy like animals, using computer vision to follow a leader or automatically trotting to GPS way points. … Read more