Run! DARPA's LS3 robot mule follows you around

If you go down to the woods today, you're sure to get a BIG surprise. You'll be tracked by this robotic Hound of the Baskervilles from Boston Dynamics.

Of course, they just want to play. Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

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.

Then it plays a game of "follow the leader," slowly pursuing a human guide through fields and along country roads. At one point, it breaks into a canter. Yikes.

It can also stand up when it's on its side on the ground. The person-following technology, however, will be key if the LS3 is deployed with marines in the field.

It can also maneuver to preset locations with its sensors and by using GPS. Carrying loads for marines is expected to make them more effective.

So far, the LS3 is still relatively slow and noisy, but how long will we enjoy that edge over it? Check out the vid below, and watch your back in the woods.


 

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