The AlphaDog from Boston Dynamics, with the Big Dog as its predecessor when we covered it in the past, is right on schedule with regards to its development. Currently, the AlphaDog is undergoing outdoor trials, where the brains behind this robotic mule wants to see how it performs in the real world that will tax its abilities to the maximum. This quadruped robot is carrying a whole lot of luggage on it this time around, where the ultimate aim would be for this to be a robotic porter that can tote around up to 400 pounds of equipment within a 20 mile radius before requiring a refuel. What you see in the video after the jump is just a glimpse of its final potential – that is to run for 24 hours straight over hill and dale.
Boasting the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) inside that comprises onboard sensors which are then used to perceive obstacles in its environment, it will kick start the built-in path-planning capabilities to avoid such obstacles. Hopefully DARPA will be able to do something about the noise if AlphaDog were to see action behind enemy lines. At least there is no poop to clean up after it though.RELATED