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DARPA’s Robot Mule Is Even Scarier Than Before

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DARPA’s Robot Mule Is Even Scarier Than Before
[ Technology]

Remember DARPA’s LS3 robotic mule from a few moths back. At that point, the robot was just beginning to learn how to walk on rugged terrain and make horrifying noises. Now it’s back and better than ever which means it’s all the more terrifying.

Here’s the full rundown of the new enhancements made to the LS3 according to DARPA:

Working with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL), 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.

It’s reassuring that the robot still follows human command, but DARPA really needs to work on the hellish noises that emerge from this particular robot. Sure, it may scare enemy combatants when it’s eventually used out in the field, but researchers can at least have it make a more pleasant noise when it inevitably turns on its masters and begins killing humans.

The video does, however, show a key weakness of the LS3. It’s terrible on hills and will fall over if it loses its footing. It takes it a while to get back up giving humans ample time to run away before it can start its killing spree again.

DARPA’s Robot Mule Is Even Scarier Than Before
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  • Will Duffy

    Wouldn’t it be more stable if it’s legs weren’t canted inward and it’s feet were bigger? I know they are trying to copy a mule but perhaps they shouldn’t be doing that. Airplane designers at first tried to copy birds but weren’t successful until they stopped trying to and only used the design features they really needed, like an airfoil shaped wing.