BigDog is a robot "pack mule" that was developed by Boston Dynamics and is now owned by Google. It's had it's first military outing carrying kit across mixed terrain and the marines are impressed.
BigDog, now being called LS3 or Legged Squad Support System, was tested at the Rim of Pacific military drill.
The robot was able to follow troops by tracking a tracer worn on the leg of a soldier. A distance can be set so that it maintains that level of space while on maneuvers.
The LS3 is able to carry an impressive 180kg of kit for 20 miles before it runs out of fuel. Apparently the robot can be instructed to conduct resupply missions to various platoons around the training area – how autonomous that actually is hasn't been made clear.
Lance Cpl. Brandon Dieckmann, who was given the task of controlling Big Dog, said: “I was surprised how well it works. I thought it was going to be stumbling around and lose its footing, but it’s actually proven to be pretty reliable and pretty rugged. I’d say 70 to 80 percent of the terrain we go through, it can go through. There are times when it is going to fall over, but most of the time it can self-right and get back up on its own."