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Security and Defense
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DARPA Exhibits Alpha Dog’s Latest Upgrades
Voice control, improved autonomy and maneuverability among the new advancements
By Robotics Trends' News Sources - Filed Dec 19, 2012

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DARPA showed off some of the Legged Squad Support System's (LS3) new functionality in a YouTube video posted today.

First off, the sound of the LS3's motor has been toned down to a reasonable 70 decibels — about the same as a vacuum cleaner or car, and a significant improvement over the deafening roar of the earlier models.

In a separate report, IEEE Spectrum adds that the LS3 can now use GPS waypoints to move in the dark, and can also be told to travel a defined distance in a certain direction and navigate the trek independently.

The LS3 now obeys about ten different voice commands like "power on," "follow," "sit," and "stay," as well. In this video , the mule-like robot even survives a controlled fall into the mud due to its barrel-like design. Whether you think the LS3 is adorable or terrifying, DARPA's attempt to create a robot to "add value" to a military squad is truly impressive.


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