A Mule With Fuel: New Cargo Robot Aids Marine Missions

The United States Marines now have a whole new definition for the term "hauling ass." Their tests on a sturdy, cargo-toting robotic mule have been moving along successfully.

As reported by the BBC, the USMC is currently testing the new robo-creature during the Rim Of The Pacific (RIMPAC) international joint exercises in Oahu, Hawaii. The motorized mule is known as the "Legged Squad Support System (LS3)" but has been nicknamed "Cujo."  It operates by following a sensor strapped to a human operator's foot.

Created by Boston Dynamics as a corollary to their projects creating robotic dog-type critters, Cujo can carry 400 pounds of gear for missions up to 20 miles. According to kpbs.org, its attendant humans were impressed with its skills.

Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Dieckmann said, "I was surprised how well it works. I thought it was going to be stumbling around and lose its footing, but it’s actually proven to be pretty reliable and pretty rugged...

"There are times when it is going to fall over, but most of the time it can self-right and get back up on its own. Even if it doesn’t, it can take one person to roll it back over. The way it is designed is that you can easily roll it back over.”

While Cujo is impressive, one wonders if they're trying to work their way up to full-sized mechanical battle elephants, like a futuristic Alexander The Great.

Kick ass!  The majestic LS3 mules romp in a pasture.


 

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