Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spot's Back: Marines Resume Testing With Four-Legged Robot |

Spot's Back: Marines Resume Testing With Four-Legged Robot | After a long hiatus, the Marine Corps is about to start experimenting again with one of its most fanciful concepts.

Officials with the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab told that Spot, the Corps' four-legged robot, will enter developmental testing this fall focused on the possibilities of manned-unmanned teaming with ground troops.

The dog-sized robot's hydraulic legs may prove more maneuverable than the Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System, a small unmanned system with tank-like treads that has also been tested at the Warfighting Lab, said Capt. Mike Malandra, the lab's ground branch head for science and technology.

"It's not a tracked vehicle so it can turn around on a dime. The other benefit of something like that is it can get up when it falls over, whereas MAARS can't," Malandra said. "So that's really what we're looking at doing, potentially, with those kinds of things moving forward here in fall: Use it as a surrogate platform for something that is maneuverable in a way similar to a human."

The Corps has had a long flirtation with the idea of incorporating four-legged robots into infantry operations.