The Legged Squad Support System, or LS3, is a robot for hauling gear and wounded in battlefield conditions.
The gas-powered beast is being developed as part of a $54 million DARPA project.
LS3: robot for hauling gear
According to IEEE Specrum,
DARPA is very specific about what they want to see in the next-gen LS3, namely:
“…the development of an enhanced version of the LS3 system with increased reliability and usability, enhanced survivability against small arms fire and a quiet power supply to support stealthy tactical operations.”
It’s no surprise that quiet power supply is on that list, since LS3’s gas-powered hydraulic pump sounds like a swarm of angry bees, if the bees were the size of domestic cats. However, finding a power supply that can keep LS3 running all day isn’t going to be easy; it’s very hard to match the power density (and general availability) of liquid fuel. One option might be to turn LS3 into a hybrid, giving it a sort of temporary on-demand “stealth mode.”