Walking vehicles, legged machines need more maturation before they can come into their own in Army inventory

July 8, 2021
Legs can match wheels and tracks for efficiency because that’s exactly what Army researchers have been studying in a new paper published in PlosOne.

ADELPHI, Md. – New work from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md., suggests that while walking vehicles have made little progress so far, in the future they may stand tall beside other military vehicles. Even walking tanks may not be impossible. Forbes reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

8 July 2021 -- Pentagon leaders have looked at walkers before, perhaps most famously with the Boston Dynamics BigDog, a quadruped robot made famous by YouTube videos that was intended to be a robotic load carrier for foot soldiers.

While it was popular with viewers, however, BigDog’s successor LS3 was deemed too noisy to use in the field and the program was discontinued in 2015. Still, the past may not be a good guide.

Legged machines are by no means doomed,” says Alexander Kott of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), lead researcher on a new project. “This technology needs more maturation, and with maturation will likely come better tradeoffs between adaptability and efficiency.”

Related: DARPA asks Boston Dynamics to build enhanced version of legged infantry-support robot

Related: DARPA testing of Legged Squad Support System begins

Related: Military researchers look for solutions for self-healing legged robots involving liquid metal and heat

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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