Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Alphadog goes walkies!

Tonight's posts (see below) have been largely technology-oriented, so I'll conclude with a video clip in the same vein.

We've visited Boston Dynamics' Bigdog and LS3 (also known as Alphadog) robotic transports in these pages before. The latter has now been sufficiently developed to take the field in practical, long-distance tests, and it seems to be doing well. Here's a video report showing its progress.

Alphadog (in its present form) can carry 400 pounds of cargo for up to 20 miles across country, accompanying (for example) a military patrol and freeing them from much of the weight of their kit. It's planned to make it respond to voice commands in future iterations; but I'm not sure that's such a good idea. After all, what happens if the enemy tells it to "Go away!" in the middle of a firefight, just when you need it to bring you more ammo?



DaddyBear said...

Or you could just buy a mule.

Anonymous said...

Do they have to get rabies shots?


Anonymous said...

It needs to be fluent in soldiereze.

Get your f'ing ass over here right now dog!

It should be able to do lot's of pushups just to be on the safe side.

Yes mules would take a lot less support than Big Dog.


Dirk said...

If you've ever seen a police dog working with his partner, you'll notice that most of the obvious commands are given in german. Yes, it takes a little training for the cop to learn how to say the commands in german, but it keeps the vast majority of the dog's potential "targets" from being able to even try to confuse it with conflicting commands.

Old NFO said...

Agree with DB and Gerry...

Will Brown said...

Anyway, you just know if this thing ever does make it into line company service that the troops are going to call it "Donkey" no matter what the official DA nomenclature says.

I also seem to recall reading that the intent is for verbal commands to be transmitted over secure audio data link, not via directly spoken command. If you don't have the commo algorithm, you're just so much environmental background noise the robot isn't equipped to "hear" in any case.

FrankC said...

A genuine donkey would be a darn sight quieter.