Disturbing robotic horse (video)

I love science. These robotic horse thingies still creep me out.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Gindy51

    I the robot is carrying all the gear, the robot gets it hence no gear or ammo for the troops.

  • Gindy51

    My Little Robotic Pony.

  • Gindy51

    Unless you count in all the maintenance these things will require. Sand or mud in one joint = dead toy.

  • houstonray


  • houstonray

    Holy crap, that’s disturbing too.

  • lol

  • I find Hello Kitty to be rather creepy.

    On the other hand, one of my dearest friends is a Hello Kitty paraphernalia collector. If it has HK’s vacuous little mug on it, she has it. She’d probably adore a Hello Kitty Hell-horse.

  • True, I would pet one if it had a ‘Hello Kitty’ face.

  • You are serious?

  • OMG, that is too funny.

  • Looks like a Texas dog to me.

  • She married one.

  • Freday63
  • dula

    Some say these prototypes were inspired by Karen Hughes.

  • melbach007

    Get a robot jockey and you’re set.

  • lynchie

    Interesting but why is everything of a robotic nature turning towards either the military or support of same. With the money we have spent on Stryker and the like.


    What we need to develop are ways not to be invading other countries, killing the people there and raping the raw materials. This is perhaps useful to support rescue teams in rough terrain, but it seems to me you now have to worry about repairs in the field not expecially easy with computers etc., training operators, moving slowly they are easy targets. I know that the technology age was heralded as being time saving for us human types but if the thought of having a robot to carry supplies for troops I am wondering if they ever heard of the mule, horse, etc. I thought we passed the era of horses and moved on to the wheel, internal combustion engine, etc in 1900 or thereabouts. I also think these will be a little more expensive than a mule or horse, but that is why we spend close to a $trillion a year on more efficient ways to kill.

  • Naja pallida

    The best way to get the cost down would be to find a civilian use for
    it. If you notice, things that remain military-only technologies, tend
    to remain expensive. The price for a jet fighter or tank never really comes
    down no matter how many they build, but other things that were developed for tactical purposes, like
    night vision, or the internet, or GPS, or cellular phones, etc, all become much more affordable and more practical when they were adapted for civilian use.

  • Naja pallida

    Horses and mules were mainstays of warfare well into the age of firearms and cannons. They only started disappearing from the battlefield by WW1 with trench warfare and mechanized transport being easier to deal with. It just takes a different level of skill that our military no longer has the capacity for. And, by-in-large, our society no longer has a tolerance for.

  • Sure can buy a whole lotta mules for the cost of one of these things. Worked for thousands of years. Eats off the land.

  • Clecinosu

    They shoot creepy autonomous robotic pack mules, don’t they?

  • Mighty

    Ok thats funny right there.

  • Mighty

    Horses can’t be remotely controlled and they will also die on the battlefield. Robots are a better alternative IMO.

  • Mighty

    They don’t creep me out at all. This is a great thing. They will be able to help soldiers to move equipment in the field over rougher terrain. I had heard there were some being made that could help to take wounded soldiers off of the battlefield.

  • archiebird

    So this is what our $710 billion a year is being spent on. Lovely.

  • “All of this has happened before and will happen again.”

  • Problem is, defense contractors don’t make a profit off mules.

  • RepubAnon

    I guess the next step is to have robotic lancers…

    It is forbidden to dream again;
    We maim our joys or hide them:
    Horses are made of chromium steel
    And little fat men shall ride them.

    -George Orwell “A Little Poem” (http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/2843/)

  • And they’d spout patriotic and religious slogans, too. “Reap what you sow!”

  • GeorgeMokray

    If you think the robot mule is creepy, try Petman (http://youtu.be/tFrjrgBV8K0).

    Rick Veitch included the robot mule in the 2007-2009 DC Vertigo comic book “Army @ Love,” still one of the best critiques of W. Bush era zeitgeist I’ve seen. And still prophetic as to where the eternal war on terror is taking us.

  • FatRat

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Cow Tipping?

  • The Mister Ed-inator.

    “Come with me, Wilburrr, if you want to live!”

  • They’d have fit right in, wouldn’t they? Except they’d have to add volley guns and sharp teeth. And presumably some way of grappling onto a Sky-line.

  • It’s creepy, probably, because its movement capabilities have just entered a variant of the Uncanny Valley. It moves and runs much like our brains tell us is nearly natural for a four legged critter, but it lacks features what would allow us to relate to it as if it was a living thing. In other words, they need to add a cute but non-threatening head to it.

  • Maybe we can send the armed robotic horse to the past to kill the child of some Taliban-bearing mom? ;-)

  • JonathanB

    You don’t. It probably wouldn’t be the target, and if it get’s destroyed, just air drop in a new one.

    I mean honestly, what you are you going to fire your RPG at, the troops on the ground or their robot? Plus… you might be able to armor it to not have to worry about an RPG. Hell, in combat it could drop to the ground and act as mobile cover for troops.

  • JonathanB

    Robots don’t get spooked by gunfire, and it can be armored. Plus, it can be developed to follow troops and follow commands. Plus, if the robot gets damaged, you can fix it in the field, or have a new one dropped in. You can’t really do that with a horse or mule.

    The development of this tech will be used for a lot more than moving gear. At some point we may have them armed. Not saying that’s a good thing, but just saying.

  • slideguy

    You know it won’t be long before they mount guns and rocket launchers on them.

  • Didn’t I see these in BioShock Infinite?

  • Krusher

    You know who’d like to have one of those? Princess Dressage Romney, that’s who.

  • Ninong

    How do you protect it from an RPG?

  • Glenn I

    Don’t let it step on your toe!

  • Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy a horse or a mule from the local tribesmen? No no. This is the US military. A $5.9 million robot is much better than a $15 mule.

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