Meet Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support System, a $500,000 robotic mule. If it can get the gear off the backs of soldiers during an ongoing trial run in New Mexico without overturning or driving off into the sunset, the Army wants to send it to Afghanistan.
No wonder: deployed soldiers have dozens of pounds of batteries, ammo, communications equipment and other kit they have to carry on their backs, on top of heavy armor. That’s why the military’s enamored with a variety of remotely controlled and even wearable machines to lighten the load. Some are deeply quirky, designed to resemble a headless dog.
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My Comment: At $500,000 per unit .... that is one expensive mule.