DARPA brought some
bizarre and awesome ideas to its “Wait, What?” tech conference last week, but it also brought some hardware. DARPA-funded projects like the Legged Squad Support System, otherwise known as BigDog, were on display in a convention center in downtown St. Louis. Here’s a collection of some of the coolest things PopSci got to see.
BigDog is bigger than you might expect. It stands about 2.5 feet tall and is about 3 feet long, weighing 240 pounds. It can carry up to 400 pounds of a squad’s load and respond to commands like a trained animal. Rebecca Boyle
Spot is a smaller version of DARPA’s Legged Squad Support System, which can run alongside warfighters and carry up to 100 pounds of cargo. Rebecca Boyle
Because why not. Rebecca Boyle
HUBO, a humanoid robot developed by DARPA Robotics Challenge competitors at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, carves a hole in a wall after picking up a drill, turning it on and carrying it around. Hubo also stepped through an obstacle course of unevenly spaced cement blocks. Rebecca Boyle
This robotic arm could eventually live out at geosynchronous orbit, roughly 27,000 miles up, where it would help repair busted or decaying satellites. The arm could reduce space junk and keep costs down for the scores of users of geo satellites. Rebecca Boyle
DARPA’s SHARK, a backronym for Submarine Hold at Risk, autonomously hunts enemy submarines. Rebecca Boyle