MILITARY ROBOTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
CHEETAH- Fastest Legged Robot
LS3 – Legged Squad Support Systems
LS3 is a dynamic robot designed to go anywhere Soldiers and Marines go on foot. Each LS3 will carry up to 400 lbs of gear and enough fuel for missions covering 20 miles and lasting 24 hours. LS3 will not need a driver, because it will automatically follow a leader using computer vision or travel to designated locations using sensing and GPS. The development of LS3 will take 30 months, with first walk out scheduled for 2012. The development of LS3 is being funded by DARPA and the US Marine Corps.
Boston Dynamics has assembled an extraordinary team to develop the LS3, including engineers and scientists from Boston Dynamics, Bell Helicopter, AAI Corporation, Carnegie Mellon, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Woodward HRT.
BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics robots. It is a rough-terrain robot that walks, runs, climbs and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by an engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog has four legs that are articulated like an animal’s, with compliant elements to absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule; about 3 feet long, 2.5 feet tall and weighs 240 lbs.
BigDog’s on-board computer controls locomotion, servos the legs and handles a variety of sensors. BigDog’s control system keeps it balanced, navigates, and regulates its energetics as conditions vary. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a gyroscope, LIDAR and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine functions, battery charge and others.
In separate tests BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, climbs a muddy hiking trail, walks in snow and water, and carries a 340 lb load. BigDog set a world’s record for legged vehicles by traveling 12.8 miles without stopping or refueling.
The ultimate goal for BigDog is to develop a robot that can go anywhere people and animals can go. The program is funded by the Tactical Technology Office at DARPA.
SandFlea – Leaps Small Buildings in a Single Bound
Sand Flea is an 11 pound robot that drives like an RC car on flat terrain, but can jump 30 ft into the air to overcome obstacles. That is high enough to jump over a compound wall, onto the roof of a house, up a set of stairs or into a second story window.
The robot uses gyro stabilization to stay level during flight, to provide a clear view from the onboard camera, and to ensure a smooth landing. Sand Flea can jump about 25 times on one charge. Boston Dynamics is developing Sand Flea with funding from the US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF).
Earlier versions of Sand Flea were developed by Sandia National Laboratory with funding from DARP) and JIEDDO.
RHex – Devours Rough Terrain
RHex is a six-legged robot with inherently high mobility. Powerful, independently controlled legs produce specialized gaits that devour rough terrain with minimal operator input. RHex climbs in rock fields, mud, sand, vegetation, railroad tracks, telephone poles and up slopes and stairways.
RHex has a sealed body, making it fully operational in wet weather, muddy and swampy conditions. RHex’s remarkable terrain capabilities have been validated in government-run independent testing. RHex is controlled remotely from an operator control unit at distances up to 700 meters. Visible/IR cameras and illuminators provide front and rear views from the robot.
RiSE: The Amazing Climbing Robo
RiSE is a robot that climbs vertical terrain such as walls, trees and fences. RiSE uses feet with micro-claws to climb on textured surfaces. RiSE changes posture to conform to the curvature of the climbing surface and its tail helps RiSE balance on steep ascents. RiSE is 0.25 m long, weighs 2 kg, and travels 0.3 m/s.
Each of RiSE’s six legs is powered by a pair of electric motors. An onboard computer controls leg motion, manages communications, and services a variety of sensors, including joint position sensors, leg strain sensors and foot contact sensors.
Boston Dynamics developed RiSE in conjunction with researchers at University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Lewis and Clark University. RiSE was funded by DARPA.
To download a video of RiSE in action, click here.
LittleDog – The Legged Locomotion Learning Robot
LittleDog is a quadruped robot designed for research on learning locomotion. Scientists at leading institutions use LittleDog to probe the fundamental relationships among motor learning, dynamic control, perception of the environment, and rough-terrain locomotion. LittleDog is used at MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, USC, Univ. Pennsylvania and IHMC as part of a DARPA-funded program on advanced robotics.
LittleDog has four legs, each powered by three electric motors. The legs have a large range of motion. The robot is strong enough for climbing and dynamic locomotion gaits. The onboard PC-level computer does sensing, actuator control and communications. LittleDog’s sensors measure joint angles, motor currents, body orientation and foot/ground contact. Control programs access the robot through the Boston Dynamics Robot API. Onboard lithium polymer batteries allow for 30 minutes of continuous operation without recharging. Wireless communications and data logging support remote operation and data analysis. LittleDog development is funded by the DARPA Information Processing Technology Office.
To download a video of LittleDog in action, click here
For more information, go to BOSTON DYNAMICS
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