September 12th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

The ‘mule-bot’ walks again

By Jennifer Rizzo

The military's robotic beast of burden went out this week for another stroll, demonstrating advancements in the way it moves through real-world environments.

The LS3, first revealed in February, is designed to carry heavy loads for troops in the field - up to 400 pounds worth of equipment.

In the footage released by the Defense Department's research and development arm, two of the mule-like robots can be seen navigating hilly terrain with relative ease, sidestepping rocks and getting up from a sitting position.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40gECrmuCaU&w=350&h=200%5D

The new and improved version of the LS3 is roughly 10 times quieter than what was seen earlier this year and has the ability to "easily transition" between speeds ranging from 1 to 7 mph, "showing the versatility needed to accompany dismounted units in various terrains," said Army Lt. Col. Joe Hitt, a program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
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