Army starts testing bots inspired by sand fleas, roaches

Sand Flea (left) and RHex are going through trials at the Army Test and Evaluation Command.

(Credit:
Boston Dynamics)

Boston Dynamics, creator of the very awesome BigDog and a menagerie of other bots, is sending two small reconnaissance robots to the U.S. Army for testing.

Sand Flea and RHex, developed with funding from the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, are off to the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) to pass safety and reliability assessments.

Three RHex units have already been delivered to ATEC and Sand Fleas will join them later this year, Boston Dynamics said in a release. The machines could improve soldiers’ awareness of threats in war zones.

RHex is a six-legged, 30-pound crawling bot inspired by cockroaches. It squirms around through mud, streams, and rocky terrain, going up to six hours on a battery charge.

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