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US Military Abandons Robotic Dog, Finds It Too Noisy

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posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 06:25 AM
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Some time ago Boston Dynamics (Google-owned, and in partnership with the Pentagon and DARPA) developped a robot, called the Big Dog.



Boston Dynamics' Big Dog

The Big Dog was supposed to become a new tool in the US Marines.

From Boston Dynamics:


BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule; about 3 feet long, 2.5 feet tall and weighs 240 lbs.
BigDog's on-board computer controls locomotion, processes sensors and handles communications with the user.

(...)

BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, climbs muddy hiking trails, walks in snow and water, and carries 340 lb load.


It all sounded good until the military realized that the robot was way too noisy.

From BBC:


"They took it as it was: a loud robot that's going to give away their position."

The machine, which has a gas-powered engine, is said to emit a lawnmower-like noise that would be unviable in combat situations.


Source

Boston Dynamics attempted to create a quieter robot, Spot, which ran on electricity instead of gas. But the military turned it down too. The reason is simple: whereas the Big Dog could carry 400lbs, Spot could only lift 40lbs.

So now, what will Boston Dynamics do?


Face saving
The tech firm has said it intends to develop robots for use in manufacturing and industry instead.


Well, I can't blame them for trying!



edit on 31-12-2015 by swanne because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 06:29 AM
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NOOOOOO!!!!

I had been watching it's story for years now!!!!

This is the single most upsetting thing I have ever heard this year


Rest in pieces robo-dogs



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 06:29 AM
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You could look at these robots in action and tell it wasn't going to work in a theater of war. They were absurd. Sure, cool robotics but utterly unwieldy.

Another pet abandoned...a very expensive one.


Think of the money wasted on this project. I wonder how much was taxpayer money funneled to BD through DARPA?



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 06:29 AM
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a reply to: swanne

Dogs bark! I could told them that for $50k!



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 06:52 AM
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a reply to: kosmicjack

Indeed. I personally am glad the Big Dog was abandoned - last thing we needed was another war machine powered by Big Oil gas.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 06:54 AM
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a reply to: swanne

Obviously could not get it to stop barking. LoL



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 06:55 AM
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I was going to say you could put one of those
Anti bark collars on it lol


But I like those pack horses they have

Imagine being on the battlefield and a hundred
Of them are running straight for you
You are able to take a few out but the rest
Bowl you down and start stomping you to death
Or if they get near you they let off directorial explosives and wipe out a platoon

I can see in the not too distant future
We will have robotic insect looking droids
Like spiders as tall as houses able to walk over destroyed buildings

Probably with ray guns lol

edit on 31-12-2015 by piney because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:12 AM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
Another pet abandoned...a very expensive one.


Will we now see these devices on those heart-wrenching ASPCA commercials asking us to adopt them or just send in .68 cents a day so they do not starve?




edit on 31-12-2015 by AugustusMasonicus because: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:17 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I'd rather adopt an old battered car than this... thing.

At least you can repair the car.


edit on 31-12-2015 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:17 AM
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a reply to: swanne

Surely if the theatre of battle is beset by constant automatic fire, rockets and grenades going off all over the shop, a sound which puts one in mind of a genteel afternoons yard work is not going to attract a great deal of attention?



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:18 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

That would be an epic parody commercial. Of course we would send money....the damn dog can barely stand up on it's own.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:19 AM
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I dont know, Noise or no noise, 50,000 of them covered in fur walking towards the enemy...I can smell the Fear.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:20 AM
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originally posted by: swanne
I'd rather adopt an old battered car than this... thing.


You may be right, I was thinking 'what if it tried to sleep on the bed like our other dogs?'.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

Perhaps, but then not all battlefields look like WW II.

You try and discreetly sneak in into a hostage situation with a lawnmower by your side.




posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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Maybe it is better this way. I am absolutely certain that it wouldn't have taken long until soldiers were riding them for fun.


I would have and I still want one.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:26 AM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: swanne
I'd rather adopt an old battered car than this... thing.


You may be right, I was thinking 'what if it tried to sleep on the bed like our other dogs?'.

"It" being the dog, or the old battered car?



Yeah, I don't see how BD is going to sell these to the public. No one in their right mind would buy something like this. Industries already have access to lifters and trucks - I don't see any advantages of having a dog-shaped thing to lift stuff.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:28 AM
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I wonder how much this crazy thing cost the taxpayer. Can't the people authorizing these purchases actually think at all? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this thing would be noisy and create a danger to soldiers. Obsession with technology is going to be our downfall.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:31 AM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
That would be an epic parody commercial. Of course we would send money....the damn dog can barely stand up on it's own.


My god, I can hear the Sarah McLachlan music kicking up in the background and then this contraption coming into focus, all wobbly and obviously in need of a home. 'Wont you help? Pledge now and receive this free DARPA blanket for your kindness.'

Sometimes I wish I wrote for one of the late night shows.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:38 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse

It is R&D mostly darpa. A lot of things from darpa wind up being used in the civilian world.

A lot of computer and medical technologies have been developed by darpa I think GPS came from it.

This thing may never go anywhere, but they may find an application for it. Possibly search and rescue or it may be shelved until newer technologies can be integrated to make it feasible.

R&D is hit and miss.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: swanne

That's a fair cop, but the point I am trying to make, is that not all modern warfare involves sneaking about and being very quiet. Advance by fire is a noisy process, and still in use today. I am sure there are theatres of warfare in which this little dude could make some use of itself.

For example, on bases in foreign lands, where it might be important to be able to rapidly transport ammunition from one part of the base to another, it might be useful to have a few of these chaps running about, delivering mags and belts of ammo to soldiers manning the walls, mounted guns. When an FOB comes under assault, the last thing you need is to remove a soldier from the fighting line, just so he or she can jog about with a crate of bullets and grenades, handing them out like a demented Santa Claus.

These fellows could also be used to help transport medical equipment to wounded soldiers in hostile environments, during already hot warfare, or as ground level guided weapons. Strap a pack of C4 to the sides and top of one of these fellows, pack the outside of those packs over with spent brass, shrapnel, and then tell the robot to run over to the enemy position while you provide suppressive fire so that the enemy cannot move...do you think the lawn mower noise is going to compare, from the enemies perspective, with having the ear bones from one side of their head, blown clear out the other side of their skull?

I would have thought that suppressive fire of such volume as to make the war zone quake underfoot, followed by a thermobaric meeting with destiny might be of more concern to your average opposing force?



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