Sometimes it’s like the Pentagon doesn’t want any of us to get a good night’s sleep, ever. The Legged Squad Support System (LS3) pack mule robot is already pretty damn horrifying to begin with, and signifies the eventual downfall of the human race. Seriously, it just prances around like a horse, figuring out how to maneuver over and around obstacles that would trip you and me up, all while carrying 400 pounds worth of gear, like it’s no big thing. But you know what makes would make this even more horrifying? If it was silent. And bulletproof. Yeah, that’s going to happen before too long.
The Pentagon, through DARPA, has just invested a butt ton of cash into the second stage of the LS3’s development, and that’s the plan. If phase two follows the blueprint they’ve laid out we won’t even hear them coming. And when they sneak up on us, like giant metal ninjas, we won’t even be able fight back because they’ll be resistant to small arms fire.
Boston Dynamics just received a $10 million payout to continue working on these enhancements. Their goal is to deliver a prototype by the time the end of March 2015 rolls around. So mark that date on your calendars, that’s the day the robot uprising really begins, and the day the government doomed us all to a lifetime of slavery. I wonder if they’ll hunt us for sport?
The current model of the LS3 already responds to human voice commands, as well as follows visual cues and directions. You can also program it to travel to a pre-ordained spot that you program into it using its GPS. Able to walk up to 20 miles over rough terrain miles on a single tank of fuel, the biggest obstacle to the silent running is that the engine and the gas powered hydraulic pump is super loud. I don’t know about you, but I imagine that the LS3 is something like a go-kart you and your old man cobbled together in the garage that one summer, one propelled by an old lawnmower engine.
We’ll have to wait and see just how Boston Dynamics gets around this pesky little problem. Maybe then can find a way to make this run on the blood of humans and the tears of our young. Watching the LS3 bounce around you can’t help but think that this task is going to be rather difficult to accomplishment. We’re not exactly talking about a dainty little Tinkerbelle robot here, this is designed to lug huge packs of heavy equipment through the woods. At least it isn’t humanoid like ATLAS.
At least we have a few years to plan and prepare to be hunted to extinction. Or we could teach them to love, that could work.