LS3 (the Legged Squad Support System) is a four-legged, 1,200-pound, engine-driven hydraulic robot from Boston Dynamics that is intended to be the larger, more-capable, field-ready version of BigDog. The robot is intended to carry up to 400 pounds of equipment for a squad of soldiers and marines, with the capability of autonomously following them anywhere they might go on foot. LS3 is designed to cover at least 20 miles, or run for 24 hours, without stopping or refueling.
I had a number of roles over the course of this project. My initial involvement focused on overall body design and conceptual design of legs that would allow for extreme range of motion, squatting, and self-righting. Later, I focused on mechanical design for the legs and actuation systems. Finally, I was promoted into the role of Systems Integrator, assuming responsibility for developing the chassis of the robot, laying out all of the electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and control components, and guiding the efforts of a large team of engineers and subcontractors to create one functional system.