AlphaDogs which sould act like mules for the military are too noisy for combat
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Technology is advancing to help humanity, but it sometimes doesn’t work so well and for example the robot mule will not be helping marines.
The giant tech companies are going to great lengths to come up with new and improved technologies that could not only make our lives easier as individuals but could also help humanity in general in fields such as medicine or the military. However, it although overall the new technologies are indeed great and could be of help, they are not always accepted and used for the purpose they were created.
The same fate will be shared by the AlphaDogs. These are robot mules designed by Boston Dynamics, a company owned by Alphabet, the new name of Google. The AlphaDogs were designed to help the U.S. Marine Corps in battle by providing support and acting as mules to carry up to 400 pounds of battle provisions.
The machines are gas-powered and their development cost about $42 million. However, after testing them starting with September 2015, the Marines together with DARPA decided not to use the robot mules in combat. The main reason behind this decision is that the machines appear to be too noisy for the battlefield and could make it harder for the troops to coordinate. Besides, the noise could also alert the enemy about the soldiers’ location.
Leaving the negative effect on the side, the AlphaDogs could have actually been very helpful in combat because they could carry up to 400 pounds which would definitely ease the load of a soldier. It seems that a U.S. soldier is expected to carry up to 72 pounds while marching and no more than 48 pounds in combat. However, in 2003, during the Iraq war, U.S. paratroopers had to carry loads of up to 100 pounds.
The company has also built an electrically-powered robot which is quieter but smaller and able to carry only up to 40 pounds which is not enough to help a soldier in battle. The smaller robot is called Spot and the company has been having fun dressing it up as Santa’s reindeer and causing a shock to people everywhere, some of them not appreciating the unusual looking ‘reindeers’.
Despite refusing to use the AlphaDogs in combat, the U.S. Marine Corps is looking forward to new technological developments that will hopefully be suitable for battlefield use.
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