The people at Boston Dynamics have created the AlphaDog, a robotic mule that is capable of carrying 400 pounds. Not surprisingly, this project has been developed by DARPA.
I’m guessing that the purpose of the Alpha Dog is to be a robotic beast of burden when the troops are deployed. Now you won’t have to have the soldiers who carry the heavy equipment, as this robo-mule will do it for them.
You should definitely hit the jump to see this Alpha Dog in action, as it is able to manage some pretty rough terrain. Granted, it is being held up by something, but it is enough to show that it could work. DARPA hopes to get a working one of these by 2012.
This Alpha Dog kind of scares me. I guess it is all the years of watching science fiction movies where the big, bad robots were trying to hunt the humans down. You will notice that in the video there are shots of people ramming it on the side. You will see that the Alpha dog recovers very well. I’m not looking forward to the day when it rams back.
You will also see footage of how it gets to its feet. I get the feeling that being knocked over will not affect this guy.
So will the future wars be full of these guys? Who knows. Just remember the lessons of the Cylons.