robotic muleSupercomputing pioneer Danny Hillis has applied his mind to projects as disparate as theme park rides and automotive design. Now Hillis has taken on the plight of the humble foot soldier, and is working with the U.S. Army on a "Robotic Mule," a high-tech pack animal that can take some of the weight off of the infantryman's back and stand the rigors of the battlefield. Unique to Hillis' design are hybrid legs that borrow some of their design from wheels, aiding in their stability and maneuverability. The project, being developed with Grumman, is still in the prototype stage, but commercial applications, ranging from all-terrain vehicles to baby carriages, are already being considered.

Draft DTV deadline: 04.07.2009