Wednesday, November 13, 2013
A small group from Camp Pendleton's 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment became the first Marines to use a robotic mule called the LS3, when they traveled last week to Fort Devens in Massachusetts to test out the machine.
According to Boston Dynamics, the creator of LS3 (Legged Squad Support Systems), the robotic mule can carry as much as 400 pounds of gear. It holds enough fuel to carry that gear on a "20-mile mission lasting 24 hours."
Popular Mechanics magazine was there for the field test, and reports the LS3 could provide much needed assistance to troops in combat...
The military needs a robotic mule because tracked and wheeled vehicles can't go where dismounted Marines do—a machine needs legs to traverse rocks, steep inclines, woods, and swamps.
The idea behind the LS3 concept is for dismounted Marines to call on the robot mules to bring supplies to their secured positions.
The Marines enjoyed field testing the mule in the wooded, mountainous terrain of Massachusetts. Marine 1st Lt. Alex Hurran does have one complaint about the LS3:
"It needs to be quieter. I still wouldn't take it on a tactical patrol, when we're snooping and pooping."
Defense Advanced Research Policy Agency (DARPA) and the Marine Corps are footing the bill for LS3.