Boston Dynamics is building a bigger, sturdier version of the military's future trusty companion, and will likely unveil it within a few months.
The company's founder and president, Marc Raibert, shared the LS3 robot's progress Tuesday at a keynote speech at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. Apparently LS3 (Legged Squad Support System) has been nicknamed BullDog, according to IEEE Spectrum.
Alas, no fun video yet, as Boston Dynamics is apparently waiting for permission from DARPA to release it.
BullDog, like BigDog, is designed to carry hundreds of pounds of gear for armed forces, ambling over rough terrain and following humans without complaint. The larger version will carry 400 pounds, last 24 hours and carry enough fuel for a 20-mile trek. It will also be able to jump over obstacles, and more easily regain its footing after it falls over. BullDog will also have greater navigational autonomy than BigDog, IEEE says.
The most significant change may be that it's significantly quieter than BigDog, which is quite obnoxiously, buzzingly loud:
Granted, a prancing, unstoppable four-legged metal beast probably doesn't need stealth to look awesome and surprise the enemy.
BullDog is a 30-month, $32 million project funded by DARPA's Tactical Technology Office and the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. The project started in early 2010, so we anticipate a full unveiling sometime next year.
Until then, content yourselves with some of BigDog's greatest adventures.
ok...that is sum seriously scary shit.
damn they're fast...
they already deleted the new videos...
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
And the reason they don't just, ya know, use donkeys is....
Donkeys are smart, versatile all terrain vehicles that run on grass. They learn, can carry a tremendous amount of weight, are quiet, and self-healing. They come with a great sensor package, do not ever need replacement parts, and....cost virtually nothing. No R&D needed. Order now, at your local ranch.
Please define enemy!
Yeah but can it play fetch?
http://www.joesid.com - Where 3D meets Flash
@FiliusStultus you bring up a great point. Something tells me though that you could take 100 of these bulldogs, drop them from a plane with parachutes then remotely walk them to troops. You could even send them out late at night - by themselves - 2, 3 a dozen and they will get to the location in question. You could even program them so that every night - 12 leave the base and just rekit the troops. With the flocking technology for UAVs, you could have one person leead a...pack of these with just a point and click on a map. Just a theory...not sure it's true or not.
You obviously have never worked with large animals let along a donkey. The upkeep for large animals is incredible. You would need to have a vet with every unit, and extra supplies to keep it alive. You think a donkey's going to be able to stand Afgahnistan mid summer on a 20 mile hike with out lots of water? sensor package? you think its going to alert you to enemy combatants? They certain;y can't care 400 more lbs. When the enemy sees it you think its going to last with a few bullts hit it? The big dog would be able to standing glancing shots, even some direct shots. Go bigdog, go even mroe bulldog can't wait to see it!
I'd like to see how long it would take you to replace a broken leg on a donkey compared to that of a bigdog.
Your donkey troll is getting old its called progress QQ more
The biggest issue with using animals in modern warfare is the cruelty aspect, and there are plenty of organizations worldwide that would cryout and blow the whistle on any modern military of a supposedly law abiding nation that would have to answer to the U.N. on such matters. This is why people build machines to do work. They are more reliable than animals, you don't have to tame them, and you won't have to deal with the 'cruelty to animals' issue.
Most people hold machines to be more expendable than animals which is why they are used for certain tasks. Other (more extreme people) hold animals in higher importance than most humans. So this is the problem with that concept.
But I think I get your angle. Frivolous spending on autonomous robotic devices. The approaching singularity that threatens to wipe human beings from existence (shout out to Ray Kurzweil). Reasonable concern, but you can't fight the future. You can only hope the right people make the right decisions so that the future isn't self-destructive.
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned that yet. How awesome!
This is just the second step to the Imperial (AT-AT) Walkers.
Always remember the important things!!! : )
Another advantage of donkeys is that you can eat them.
That was my first thought when I saw the picture.
THey should weaponise these puppies.
I'm surprised no one has thought of putting either tires or treads on this robo-mule, so that over smoother terrain it can move much faster and more stably.
Plus why not give it a shape like a cougar and put a machine gun or rocket launcher in it's mouth or mount it on the sides. In war mode it can shift from being a mule, drop it's cargo and become a fighting platform to aid the soldiers. One can only imagine how terrifying and deadly a robotic, armed animal would be.
Suggestion to Darpa
Have the Hive on BullDogs Back. Each bee can bee sent out for different sorties
Yeah.. say near the "Knee" Joints..
that way all it would have to do is Kneel to make contact and at the same time lower the center of gravity
@ pheonix1012 Have you heard of the The Dickin Medal
"The biggest issue with using animals in modern warfare is the cruelty aspect"
This is a valid point. However the biggest problem i see would be the interaction between the Handler and the Animal in question.. There is a Tangible bond between the two..
It would take to long to replace this necessary bond..
Did somebody say my name?
Wasn't this article just posted a short while ago?
Well I have one thing to say.
Hi RayKurzweil, I am a fan!
I wrote a comment dedicated to you on the Telsa article.
Has anyone seen the movie Red Planet, cheesy movie but one of the best evil robots of all time. This thing looks like its predecessor.
supersize these, drop them on the moon or mars. use the new briefcase nuclear generator for power. imagine this thing the size of a small building.....
Just to recap some of the points in the previous discussion about bigdog, that still apply to bulldog:
(1) I can see that many people don't know the difference between a horse, a donkey, and a mule. It might be good to look those up.
People who think that these are super expensive are probably thinking of thoroughbred horses. If mules (or donkeys) were as expensive as some people think then the average peasant must be a millionaire with a degree in veterinary medicine.
(2) It still is not weaponized, and is still pretty slow, even at 5 mph.
(3) In it's capacity as a pack animal it still is not all that good compared to a *real* pack animal.
(4) But it is a great platform to build on. Since we've already thrown all this money at it, what's another couple hundred million to start to weaponize it.
(5) Wheeled or tracked rovers for porting equipment do exist and may well have some advantages over this four-legged version.
I'm not saying that bulldog is total bull$$$$. Just be aware of what you are getting. That is, remember to be skeptical about things like maintenance. I bet these robots have service life times rated in days, if not hours. That is, any mechanical system doing unpredictable things like walking is likely to break sooner, rather than later. That's why all the tests we see from it are in pretty controlled conditions. You guys who think they can drop these on the moon or mars, with non-existent suitcase nuclear power plants, should think again, because these devices do not have the ability to repair themselves (yet;).
Others of you have clearly watched too much transformers, voltron, or other bad anime (redundant?) cartoons.
"I'm surprised no one has thought of putting either tires or treads on this robo-mule," they already have a dozen darpa projects working on that.
They have actually have a Dapra funded race JUST for that.
but this thing can cross much more terrain.
here is the wiki link about the darpa race
they have PLENTY of prototypes. this bigdog is very unique and is far more versatile. I have a feeling we will see a mix of both support vehicles. depending on the terrain and mission.
"You guys who think they can drop these on the moon or mars, with non-existent suitcase nuclear power plants, should think again"
yes but research in being done with nano scale lithuam ion batteries that can potentially increase the capicty of a Li Ion battery by as much as 1,000. So in the near future a laptop sized battery could power something like this for a VERY long time. so no noisy engine. and mega long battery life.
What about a Mechanized Infantry? I can see thousand of soldiers riding these BullDogs into battle. Remember what the Art of War says, essentially "the soldiers who are well rested win the war." Why climb mountains all day, just to get shot at by a well rested enemy. Our soldiers need to ride these things so that they have the strength to fight and push the "enemy" back. Just a thought.
Robots won't be the end of us; our inability to recycle our resources and share with each other will.
@aarontco apparently u have no concept of future tech. as for the non-existant suitcase nuke i was refering to this article here
here now no but very possible in a decade. we are not talking about just dropping a 1st gen down with no upgrades. we discussing the possibilities of what future generations of this could do and if u fail to see the advantages of a walking robot with a stable platform able to climb over rocky terrain then u dont belong in this conversation. u lack a key feature, imagination. we all know the reality of "now", we are talking about "what if".
as for anime and transforms, get a life and quit being such a dick. japan has come along way in their robotic technology and have working transformers. theyre freaking awesome to watch.
a toy yes but still amazimg
as for ur idea that all anime is bad. ur a sad lil man. like all entertainment mediums there is crappy stuff and then there is amazing stuff. many with a excellent story, sound plot, clean animation, and very well written scripts.
that's scary. well if you cant beat em' join em'. cant wait for my augmentations.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
"I can see thousand of soldiers riding these BullDogs into battle. "
And I can see one tank wiping them all out in a manner of minutes with a few cannon blasts. *rollseyes*
Where the hell do you anticipate armed conflicts for the U.S.? Narnia?
"Do not offer sympathy to the mentally ill.
Tell them firmly:
I am not paid to listen to this drivel.
You are a terminal boob." - William S. Burroughs
Apparently you didn't read the article very carefully or the comments that *I* posted on that article in three separate entries. Try doing some research next time.
Anyway, if you go back and actually read the article this time then you will see that the so-called suitcase nuclear reactor does not exist, like I said, and it is doubtful that they will despite their promises. I know enough about future tech to know that millions of gee-whiz contraptions are promised to be built every year and only a tiny fraction of them actually do get built. You have confused your own giddy naivete and wishful thinking with reality. A little skepticism might suit you better.