RIP LS3 Robot, It Won’t Combat with US Marine Corps

RIP to LS3 Robot, It Won’t Combat with US Marine Corps

RIP to the (Legged Squad Support Systems) LS3 robot, more popularly known by its earliest nickname, BigDog. Despite of the hopes that the massive robotic mule developed by Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics will one day work as a pack mule for US soldiers in the field, it is getting retired because of its noisy behavior. The robot was initially designed to carry cargo for weary soldiers to the field. In 2008, Boston dynamics first made the quadruped robot which was later on updated in 2010 under a $32 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa). By 2012 it was known as the AlphaDog, despite the fact that the name BigDog had stuck in the popular imagination. The robot was capable of walking with 400 pounds of equipment on its back.

But, as per the latest news the US military is taking this dog behind the shed and putting it down. LS3 could run for 24 hours straight on a 20-mile mission across rough terrain. No controller was needed; it took visual and verbal cues from soldiers to find its way. Kyle Olson, a spokesperson for the Marines’ Warfighting Lab, said “As Marines were using it, there was the challenge of seeing the potential possibility because of the limitations of the robot itself. They took it as it was: a loud robot that’s going to give away their position”.

It has been speculated that the reason that why the Marine Corps is not ready to use the LS3 robot is that the robot's gas-powered engine isn't exactly the stealthiest piece of technology. Also, the big noise problem of the BigDog might also be the reason for the Marine Corps to abandon it. As per a spokesman from the Marine’s Warfighting Lab, LS3 was a ‘waypoint along a path of discovery and development’ toward unmanned systems that could ‘lighten the load’ for soldiers in the future. He added that the Marine Corps recognizes the necessity of autonomous, unmanned, and robotic capabilities to gain a tactical edge through technological overmatch.

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