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Man's mechanical best friend: The robot dog that can follow its owner for 20 miles (but just hope it doesn't jump on your lap)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
By MARK PRIGG

He's behind you: The military Alphadog, a four legged robot that can follow a soldier for 20 miles carrying his pack and equipment.

He could soon become a soldier's best friend, following them faithfully across the battlefield, and even carrying their equipment.
US military bosses today showed off the latest version of their robot dog, named LS3 but dubbed AlphaDog, a four-legged, autonomous robot that can follow a soldier.
The machine, one of a series designed by Boston Dynamics, can stand upright, walk for 20 miles without a break and carry up to 400 pounds.

Darpa's AlphaDog has already been tested in woods, and in December will take part in Marine exercises

One of the firm's other robot, dubbed Cheetah, recently broke the world speed record for robots.
'LS3 seeks to demonstrate that a highly mobile, semi-autonomous legged robot can carry 400 lbs of a squad’s load, follow squad members through rugged terrain and interact with troops in a natural way, similar to a trained animal and its handler,' the Darpa agency said.
It revealed tests with Marines have already begun.
'We’ve refined the LS3 platform and have begun field testing against requirements of the Marine Corps,' said Army Lt. Col. Joe Hitt, DARPA program manager.

Down boy: The robot can also be fitted with camouflage to allow it to blend it.

'The vision for LS3 is to combine the capabilities of a pack mule with the intelligence of a trained animal.'
During a recent demonstration, the LS3 prototype completed trotting and jogging mobility runs, perception visualization demonstration and a soldier-bounded autonomy demonstration.
Today’s demo also exhibited reduced noise levels for the robots.
'LS3 is now roughly 10 times quieter than when the platform first came online, so squad members can carry on a conversation right next to it, which was difficult before,' Hitt said.



source: dailymail