Crafting military technology by taking cues from nature is nothing new.
For instance, we’ve already seen advanced drones made by AeroVironment (Nasdaq: AVAV) that were inspired by hummingbirds. And scientists at Harvard have studied how pigeons fly in order to apply their maneuvering capabilities to unmanned aircraft.
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Well, it looks like man’s best friend is next on the list.
Massachusetts-based Boston Dynamics is developing a new military technology for the marines called the Legged Squad Support System.
Otherwise known as “Big Dog,” the goal of this four-legged robot is to help marines and soldiers in the field by carrying excess gear. Its current design can haul up to 400 pounds of equipment over 20 miles before refueling.
It’s not just a pack mule, however. Eventually, the company believes it can equip the robot with a mobile power station, as well. That way, soldiers can keep their important devices charged on the go without lugging around extra batteries.
Big Dog isn’t set for the field just yet. It’s undergoing rigorous testing over the next two years. By the time it’s ready for primetime, though, it should actually be able to respond to verbal commands – no obedience school required.
Once that feature’s finalized, the company will need to figure out a way to make Big Dog a bit stealthier. I’m sure the troops would appreciate it.