The Legged Squad Support System


The Legged Squad Support System, or simply LS3, is a highly mobile, semi-autonomous robot that can carry up to 400 lbs of the gear of soldiers. Made by Boston Dynamics, founded in 1992 by Marc Raibert, the LS3 is also able to follow the squad members through rough terrain. The LS3 follows the squad in a way that it doesn't hindertheir misison, and it can also be used as a mobile auxillary source to charge the squad members' radios and hand-held equipment. This project was funded by DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the U.S. Marine Corps. Click Here!

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The Predecessor

The BigDog was a project by Boston Dynamics in 2003 which was the predecessor to the LS3. Instead of using lasers or sensors, BigDog reacted to the terrain and quickly determined its postition and compared it with its desired position, then took corrective action based on the difference between the two. At BigDog's beginnings of development, it was difficult getting its legs working in a synchronized fashion and difficult to adjust itself on slippery surfaces. BigDog, however, quadruped its performance and stamina, improved the software for balance and control, and was able to traverse sand, rocks, mud, and snow. After BigDog's test at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, it showed that it could carry about half its body weight up difficult hiking trails 1.5 times its body weight on flat level terrain. Click Here!

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Complaints About The LS3

The LS3 was too noisy to use in action. Kyle Olson, a spokesperson fot the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab explained how he soldiers in action wouldn't have wanted a robot that was loud enough to give away the squad's position. This noise dilemma has always been a problem for Boston Dynamic's robotic quadrupeds. However, the LS3 was funded in order to be an improvement from BigDog. The LS3 was intended to better resist gunfire and be more quiet. However, the reduction in noise was not great enough since the project was shelved by the U.S. military. Click Here!

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