Robotic Battle Dog Now Obeys Voice Commands
I may never get tired of reading and writing about Boston Dynamics’ animal-inspired military robots. Back in March, John Newman updated us on the company’s robo-cheetah. Now we’ve learned that the company’s fantastically awesome, battle-ready AlphaDog (otherwise known as the Legged Squad Support System, or LS3) has gotten even better.
According to an announcement from DARPA, the four-legged robot is undergoing testing by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL), and is showing off improved stability and maneuverability, “leader follow” decision making, roll recovery, exact foot placement on rough terrain, the ability to maneuver in urban settings, and verbal command capabilities.
That’s right. You can now “call” your robotic battle dog.
This was the first time DARPA and MCWL were able to get LS3 out on the testing grounds together to simulate military-relevant training conditions. The robot’s performance in the field expanded on our expectations, demonstrating, for example, how voice commands and “follow the leader” capability would enhance the robot’s ability to interact with warfighters. We were able to put the robot through difficult natural terrain and test its ability to right itself with minimal interaction from humans. —Lt. Col. Joseph Hitt, DARPA program manager
Check out the video below: