This 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.