Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 9:50AM
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Legged Squad Support System (LS3) program is a joint effort between DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office and the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.
The program's goal is to develop a walking quadruped platform to help carry equipment autonomously. These platforms will be capable of managing rugged and complex terrain, where tactical vehicles are not able to go -- lightening the load of Marines and soldiers, and increasing their combat capability.
LS3 will carry 400 pounds or more of payload, and provide 24 hours of self-sustained capability over 20 miles. LS3 will weigh no more than 1,250 pounds (including its base weight, fuel and payload of 400 pounds).
Key LS3 program themes are:
Quadruped platform development: design of a deployable walking platform with sufficient payload capacity, range, endurance, and low noise signature for dismounted squad support, while keeping weight and volume scaled to the squad level.
Walking control: develop control techniques that allow walking, trotting, and running/ bounding and capabilities to jump obstacles, cross ditches, recover from disturbances, and other discrete mobility features.
User Interface (to include perception technologies): the ability for the vehicle to perceive and traverse its immediate terrain environment autonomously with simple methods of Marine/Soldier control.