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LS3 goes on manoeuvres

US Marines have recently revealed field tests of an LS3 (Legged Squad Support System) at the Kahuku Training Area in Oahu, Hawaii. 

Developed by Boston Dynamics, LS3 is a rough-terrain robot designed to carry the load of military personnel on a range of surfaces.


According to the company, each LS3 carries up to 400lbs of equipment and enough fuel for a 20-mile mission lasting 24 hours.

They add that LS3 automatically follows its leader using computer vision, so it does not need a dedicated driver. It also travels to designated locations using terrain sensing and GPS. LS3, which is funded by DARPA and the US Marine Corps, began a two-year field-testing phase in 2012.

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Readers' comments (9)

  • Years ago we would have used a horse. I guess that's progress for you.

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  • Which US city is the next to go bankrupt because the Americans spend all their money on the military?

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  • Did I read correctly... BD now owned by Google? A smart robot that can carry the Marine's equipment, upload the latest apps, and knows when the enemy searches for how to say "we surrender" in American. It could be cost effective with a peace time function of delivering the on-line shopping. I bet the Apple I-LS3 will be twice the price with out of date navigation!

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  • I think the Army still has 1,000,000 Mule/horse shoes stored at Bicester

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  • Donkeys still are in use in Afghanistan, for military purposes, aid as well as ballot paper box transport and even ambulances!

    Problems are occurring as contracted donkeys help fund farmers and rural communities-but apparently many have not been paid in months by their military contracts!

    Good Engineering is not always solving problems with advanced technology, but merely providing an innovative and appropraite solution (regardless of how low-tech it may be).

    Starting to sound like the whole 'space pen vs pencil' joke!*

    *although this joke has now been discounted due to the risk of graphite dust affecting air quality and instruments in zero-gravity

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  • I can't help but be reminded of the old war-time cartoon by Bill Maudlin of the grizzled old platoon sergeant having to shoot his broken down jeep! I don't think I can post an image here, but do a google search for 'bill maudlin shoots jeep' and you will find it immediately!

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  • It appers to be:
    Slower than a mule
    Louder than a mule
    With less range and endurance than a mule.
    Unable to refuel locally on flora and fauna.

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  • Here we are, all us Engineers poking fun at the US (and UK) military whilst all the top brass are trying to do is keep us safe from the evils of Communism, terrorists, malcontents, intellectuals, intelligence, ability, rational coming up (or getting our 'brothers and sister Engineers to develop such) with better and better ways of doing things that are less and less necessary?

    At least that is what they tell us they are doing.

    I take the liberty of adding a short piece from a book I have written.

    "Jack smiled to himself. Here was the real stuff of the Services. This was what they taught at Staff College. It was not the defence of the realm that counted most, it was the defence of their budgets from prying eyes that really mattered. A group of individuals, who could not create a penny piece of wealth if they had tried, were left with a single means of making their living. They had to continue to persuade the politicians that democracy, whatever that was, was threatened. For fifty years the ‘Red’ menace, that had started in 1919, had been a convenient peg on which to hang their livelihoods, and the minor incursions that had occurred since 1945 were reminders to the Politicians that the Services still had their uses."

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  • Funny, the Ghurkas have been doing better than that for years and they do it silently and invisibly. Big and loud - American?

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