TECH

'Cujo' Robot Mule Starts Life Of Willing Servitude With US Marines

15/07/2014 09:26 BST | Updated 15/07/2014 09:59 BST

Google-owned Boston Dynamics has started testing its LS3 robot 'mule' out in the field and already soldiers have given the robot a name: 'Cujo'.

'Cujo' literally means 'dog from hell', which incidentally is not what Google's helpful robot looks like in the slightest, then again, who's going to argue with a troop of US marines.

Boston Dynamics has been testing 'Cujo' out in Hawaii ,where soldiers will be putting the robot transport to the test, pushing its 20-mile range and making sure it can tackle the sorts of rugged terrain it was built for.

Capable of self-righting, 'Cujo' can carry up to 400lbs of supplies and has enough fuel for a 20-mile mission lasting up to 24 hours.

ls3 robotic mule

The whole project has cost just $2m, pennies when you think about how much is spent on defence, yet already it's getting the nod of approval from soldiers out in the field.

Speaking to DVIDS, Lance Cpl. Brandon Dieckmann explains how the testing went: "

I was surprised how well it works,” Dieckmann said. “I thought it was going to be stumbling around and lose its footing, but it’s actually proven to be pretty reliable and pretty rugged. It has a bit of a problem negotiating obliques and contours of hills.”

While Boston Dynamics draws the line at creating robots that can kill, a campaign called 'Stop Killer Robots' is currently building momentum in its aim to ban all robots which have the ability to select a human target without external approval from a mortal, human soul.