DARPA contract sets its sights on autonomous, gear carrying robots
Are you a defense contractor, or would you like to be? DARPA has put out a call for a "legged vehicle capable of maneuvering robustly and nimbly" (which might be military-speak for "prancing" -- we're not entirely sure). To get in on the action, your vehicle must be able to sense, negotiate and operate in complex terrain (rubble-strewn streets and such), follow a soldier through dynamic, cluttered environments, operate quietly, pack 400 pounds of equipment and bring enough fuel for 24 hours of operation. The Legged Squad Support System (it's been pointed out that this sounds a bit like the BigDog we saw a while back) would be required to do all of this autonomously as it follows a soldier up to 100 meters (328 feet) away. Piece of cake, right? If you're interested, hit the read link for the full announcement and be sure to get your proposal in by January 6, 2009. Video of the "classic" BigDog after the break.
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