The kickable "robotic mule", also known as AlphaDog or LS3, created by Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics under a contract with DARPA, has proved too loud to fight alongside the US Marines. Following an extended test period during the "Rim of the Pacific" military exercise last year, the project has been suspended.
The Legged Squad Support System (LS3) was created to carry heavy equipment for the Marines during marches, bearing a load of up to 400 pounds (180kg). This would've provided much-needed relief for the fighters: the average soldier is supposed to carry no more than 72 pounds (32kg) when marching and 48 pounds (22kg) when fighting, but paratroopers fighting in Iraq in 2003 carried up to 101 pounds (46kg). In total, about $42 million (£28 million) was awarded to Boston Dynamics to develop the robodog.
Unfortunately for those over-laden soldiers, however, the military exercise clearly showed that LS3 in its current state is not suitable for real-life use by the US Marine Corps, Military.com reports.