Craig here. While visiting the US Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis yesterday I ran across this experimental “vehicle” on display:
It is the “Cybernetic Walking Machine” or “Walking Truck” tested by the Army in 1969-70. General Electric designed the quadraped vehicle to carry 500 pounds over broken terrain or push 1000 pounds across level ground. The operator sat in the middle of the machine, using foot and arm peddles to move the legs. The vehicle moved at the blazing speed of 5 mph. Best yet, operator training took only two hours! (That is before TRADOC extended the course into six week TDY.)
Want the video? Here’s the video:
Impressive articulation… for a machine built in the 1960s. From an engineering standpoint – or perhaps better said – logically the “walking machine” is a distant predecessor of the HULC system mentioned the other day.
Now for all those who fear cyborgs going SkyNet on us and taking over the world, the 1970s version of the walking machine used 50 gallons of hydraulic fluid per hour… per hour. In other words, it still needed human beings to carry around drip pans and drysweep where ever the cyborg went.