The U.S. military has been working on its own robotic pack-mule project Big Dog for a while, and now they’re finally unleashed the massive robo-pup into the field.
Officially dubbed the LS3, the Big Dog was created to accompany soldiers in the field and essentially serve the purpose of a high-tech pack animal to help carry everything from supplies to equipment and injured soldiers at some point. It’s modeled after, you guessed it, a big ol' dog — which allows it to walk across tough terrain.
The project is being developed by Boston Dynamics, weighs around 240 pounds and is the size of a small mule. The rig's onboard computer controls locomotion, processes sensors and communicates with the user. It uses a gyroscope to keep it balanced on all types of terrain, and it can even climb steep grades if needed.
The tech was deployed for the first time during the recent RIMPAC 2014 multinational maritime war games in the Hawaiian Islands, and it looks pretty freaking cool to see this thing in action. Some footage of the field test has been released, and you can check it out below:
Seriously, wouldn’t that bad boy come in handy on your next hike? You know, until it becomes self-aware and tramples you to death.