DARPA's Four-Legged Robot Plays Follow the Leader


In the woods of central Virginia around Fort Pickett, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) four-legged robot has been showing off its capabilities during field testing. LS3 was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA and the US Marine Corps. Working with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, researchers from DARPA's LS3 program demonstrated new advances in the robot's control, stability, and maneuverability - including 'Leader Follow' decision making, enhanced roll recovery, exact foot placement over rough terrain, the ability to maneuver in an urban environment, and verbal command capability. The LS3 program seeks to demonstrate that a highly mobile, semi-autonomous legged robot can carry 400 lbs of a squad's equipment, follow squad members through rugged terrain, and interact with troops in a natural way similar to a trained animal with its handler.