International Creepy Boston Dynamics Robotic Horse Day
annually on September 10th
International Creepy Boston Dynamics Robotic Horse Day is dedicated to a robotic horse made by Boston Dynamics, which is so life-like that it can be pretty creepy. It is based off one of their other robots, the BigDog, and has the technical name Legged Squad Support System (LS3). Its creation was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and by the United States Marine Corps.
By using its computer vision, the robot can follow its human "master" around without someone controlling it or driving it. It also has GPS, obstacle avoidance, and terrain sensing. It can also use its camera to gather intelligence. With the ability to go over rough terrain, it was designed to be able to go anywhere that Marines and soldiers go on foot; it can carry up to 400 pounds and was designed to help carry their loads. Its battery allows it to walk approximately 20 miles. It is almost 5.5 feet tall and weighs over 1,200 pounds.
September 10 became International Creepy Boston Dynamics Robotic Horse Day because it was on that date in 2012 when two prototypes were demonstrated in an outdoor test. They exhibited their trotting and jogging capabilities, as well as their visual and perceptual capacity. More testing was done in 2012 and 2013, and there were hopes that a Marine company would be using one in the field by 2014. However, the Marines put them in storage in 2015 because of their loud noise, their difficulty to repair when breaking, and the challenge of integrating them into Marine patrols.
How to Observe
Spend the day celebrating the creepy-looking robotic horse! Although it would be best if you had your own to walk around with you today, they may be pretty hard to find. Instead, you could explore the Legged Squad Support System and other robots made by Boston Dynamics on their website. The website has both information and videos about the robots.