We reported about the robot that was like a dog; the Alpha Dog. It was being developed and tested by Boston Dynamics to be eventually put to military use. Boston Dynamics was acquired by Google and the robot was being built while keeping in mind the aim of helping the troops in a new smart way. The robot assisted by running along with troops and fulfilled commands while also carrying the payload.
The project cleared multiple tests with flying colors and over the time span of two and a half years, its cost had reached $32 million. However, after all these upgrades and tests, the final hurdle was to get drafted in the military and that’s where it was deemed unfit by the US Marine Corps. The reason being that it was too loud and would potentially give away the position of the soldiers it was working for.
A smaller version of the Alpha Do was also manufactured known as Spot. It was designed to cater to the sound problem by reducing its size. This was achieved by opting for electric motors that powered it. This variation, however, led to the problem of it carrying less payload as compared to the Alpha Dog and eventually this approach had to be put down as well.
As of now, none of these robots are going to be used by the military, At least until some breakthrough can be achieved. The seemingly right approach would be to somehow reduce the Alpha Dog’s weight so that it can run and operate on less power, thus reducing the noise of the engine. Check out the video below for more.