I recently wrote a post about a robotic Gator that has been developed for military applications. Another vehicle with a similar purpose, helping haul gear for combat troops, is now being tested in Afghanistan. This “mule” was developed by Lockheed Martin and is much larger than the M-Gator, weighing in at 3,800 lbs for the six-wheeled vehicle.
Four of the vehicles will be tested over several months by troops operating in the field. The vehicles will be used to haul gear, water, ammunition and other supplies. In addition, the vehicles have a battery recharger onboard for the plethora of batteries that troops now need to operate a range of high tech equipment. The vehicle also has a “follow me” operating mode. ” The vehicle will memorize the optical profile or shape and size of a person that it is told to follow, and it will track the person and stay a certain distance behind, moving around obstacles that fall in its path.” If the vehicle performs well, the Army could initiate a bid competition in late 2012. Learn more: Nationaldefensemagazine.org