Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


'Cujo' The Robotic Mule Helps Marines Take A Load Off (Video)

Marines test Robot - LS3 robot takes the weight off Marines' shoulders

A robotic mule - affectionately named "Cujo" by the Marines in charge of testing it - is getting its first try at helping troops carry heavy loads as part of RIMPAC 2014 in Hawaii, according to U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific news.

Boston Dynamics spent five years and $2 million developing the "Legged Squad Support System," also called LS3. The Boston Dynamics website gives the lowdown on the LS3:

Each LS3 carries up to 400 lbs of gear and enough fuel for a 20-mile mission lasting 24 hours.

LS3 automatically follows its leader using computer vision, so it does not need a dedicated driver.
Five Marines assigned to India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment (based in Hawaii) are testing out Cujo in Kahuku Training Area on Oahu.

One of those Marines, Lance Cpl. Brandon Dieckmann, says "Cujo" has impressed him:

"I was surprised how well it works. I thought it was going to be stumbling around and lose its footing, but it’s actually proven to be pretty reliable and pretty rugged...

"There are times when it is going to fall over, but most of the time it can self-right and get back up on its own. Even if it doesn’t, it can take one person to roll it back over. The way it is designed is that you can easily roll it back over.”
Marine Corps Warfighting Lab is observing Cujo in the field as part of the multinational maritime exercise known as Rim of the Pacific 2014.