The BigDog robot is soon to be eclipsed by a new member of the family, the BullDog robot, as per Marc Raibert of Boston Dynamics. Marc said that a new contract for the LS3 robot was under development and would be ready by 2012.
The BigDog robot carries 340 pounds on flat terrain, and climbs difficult terrain carrying 100-125 pounds. It has a maximum range of about 12 miles, but not while carrying maximum payload the founder president of Boston Dynamics said. By contrast, the LS3 is designed to carry 400 pounds for 20 miles over rough terrain.
Marc added that the LS3 will weigh about 1000 pounds, including the weight of the robot, fuel and 400-pound payload. It will also be able to walk, trot, run, and wade through water. It will be able to operate at night, though probably with less mobility than in daylight. So LS3 will go far beyond what BigDog has done.
The Waltham, Mass. based company has taken DARPA funded LS3 robotic mule project into a reality that could not have been imagined a decade ago. Bulldog is quieter, and the Boston Dynamics engineers are teaching it some new tricks: It will be able to jump over obstacles, right itself after a fall, and navigate with greater autonomy than its predecessor said that company president at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.