Soldiers soon could move through hostile territory, accompanied by an autonomous vehicle that would carry the gear they need to complete their mission. The service’s Combat Capabilities Command Research Laboratory is developing the vehicle, known as LLAMA (Legged Locomotion and Movement Adaptation). Electrically powered, LLAMA is programmed to operate with little or no human interaction in all kinds of terrain and with the ability to climb stairs.
While still not ready to join the inventory of assets, LLAMA should be available with a logistics payload within the next five years. More sophisticated capabilities would follow as they are perfected. Other such systems exist, its developers at the laboratory’s Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance say. However, none to date can offer soldiers as platform that could carry state-of-the-art sensing, computation and power that would match LLAMA.