Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Military Robots To Hasten Impending Dystopian Nightmare

LS3This is terrifying: The military has contracted the Boston Dynamics robotics company to build a prototype Legged Squad Support System for infantry troops-a walking robot to carry supplies. In 30 months, for $32 million, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Tactical Technology Office and the U.S. Marine Corps will get a souped-up version of the "Big Dog," the 165-pound quadraped robot Boston Dynamics has been refining since 2003. The Big Dog can walk through sand or snow, climb a pile of cinderblocks and right itself when it slips on ice. It looks like a Mummenchanz bit and it is amazing to watch:

The military contract stipulates that each Legged Squad Support System, or "LS3," robot be able to carry 400 pounds for 20 miles without refueling. Of course, when the LS3 does need to refuel, it will locate and capture the nearest human being, and, while the powerful forelegs pin him or her to the ground, a three-foot-long hypodermic-needle proboscis will extend from the 40 horsepower engine to suck the twitching victim's body dry of all carbon-based fluid.

39 Comments / Post A Comment

Kevin (#2,559)

Get a fucking mule!

According to the latest issue of the New Yorker, yeah, they still got them too.

Kevin (#2,559)

The thing with mules though is that if you're stranded in a mountain pass, you can kill that mule, eviscerate it and climb inside for warmth. Then eat it the next day. Robots can't do that.

Seriously, leave it to the Pentagon to come up with a multi-million dollar horse.

The horses will carry fuel for the robots.

Oh come on. Next you'll be saying that we should stick with the old-fashioned last-year's-model non-nuclear-powered cyborg insect spybots.

Antonia Capet (#2,372)

This noisy thing is a great way to have enemy forces shoot down and steal our supplies before they reach troops.

Antonia Capet (#2,372)

Also it is huge and conspicuous and looks like a terrifying and threatening animal. This will obviously in no way create panic, fear, superstition and hatred in a remote local populace that we are trying to take over because the entire earth is the American birthright.

On the other hand, conspicuous and terrifying technology is like a public service — it's just getting peoples' heads in the right place for dealing with the future.

Antonia Capet (#2,372)

I am taking my eyeballs out for retinal-scan measurements as we speak.

Dave Bry (#422)

Seriously. They are so terrifying. The infantry troops will be like, "These are just are our friendly robot helpers!" And the locals will be like, "Yeah. No thanks. We've SEEN Robocop."

HiredGoons (#603)

If I saw that thing drunky-stumbling (that's how it looks!) through the woods at me I would flip. my. shit.

Antonia Capet (#2,372)


What are we thinking, trying to win hearts and minds of obscure guerrilla-harboring peoples by sending Voltron into their midst? I am not violent, but I would shoot this thing on sight.

On the other hand, it will be kind of a fascinating anthropological test to see how these distant villages absorb the terrifying newcomers into the local mythology. Like, in 2020, the elders will tell the story of the brave young fighter Qadik, who hath slain the Giant Man-Dog made of metal.

KarenUhOh (#19)

My militia will have Roombas with shelves.

cherrispryte (#444)

As someone who has taken these snowstorms as an opportunity to watch all of Battlestar Galactica for the first time ever, let me say, THIS IS A BAD IDEA.

rj77 (#210)

Remember, when their spine turns red that means they're aroused.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

And you do not want to be around when the Big Dog gets aroused.

zidaane (#373)

I'd bang that.

HiredGoons (#603)

Wait a sec — the contract specifically stipulated that I wouldn't have a remote kill-switch in my head! I'm taking this up with my immortal synthetic killbot union representative.

HiredGoons (#603)

Good luck with THAT paperwork. You have to fill in a form just to fill in a form.

Rw (#1,458)
brad (#1,678)

forgive me for not clicking your link then referencing said movie below. i feel bad. but not as bad as when robot dogs eat me to stay warm.

Rw (#1,458)

No one who would ref 'Runaway' need ever apologize to me It's my fault for being all cryptic and shit.

brad (#1,678)

cryptic? are you implying Runaway is in some way obscure?

who doesn't have the Tom Selleck box set in betamax?

joeclark (#651)

As was pointed out on MetaFilter when this contraption first saw light of day, you can take it down by lassoing its legs.

The noisy engine will, in principle, be replaced by something quieter.

rj77 (#210)

Like that's not fucking terrifying. Puppy Imperial Walkers are *not* the answer, Military Industrial Complex.

HiredGoons (#603)

Luckily you can make good your escape by throwing a tennis ball.

Here at the Tyrell corporation, our motto is "better, faster, aww izzums a good doggie? Izzums a gooooood boy?"

Rw (#1,458)

Who will they hire when these need to retire?

brad (#1,678)

oh, and here's a robot that will consume organic matter to refuel.

it's as though no one saw runaway.

Yay for the Mummenschanz shout-out! More use of that tag in the future, please…

kbsmith (#2,688)

Ugh. This is fucking terrifying. When the guy kicked the thing, and it went all stumbling, I nearly puked.

lawyergay (#220)

I wish I had one of these around to carry my books in law school. And protect me from bullies.

Maevemealone (#968)

I can't quite put it together, but it sounds exactly like the mosquitoes in that upright walking bear video…

Mindpowered (#948)

I bet that thing is totally wirelessly hackable.

gumplr (#66)

This is really overwhelming with the new Massive Attack album streaming in the background.

gumplr (#66)

Track 7: Paradise Circus

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