Walking Truck

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The Walking Truck[1] or Cybernetic Walking Machine was an experimental quadruped walking vehicle created by General Electric in 1965.[2] It was designed by Ralph Mosher to help infantry carry equipment over rough terrain. It alternatively bore the name of "CAM", an acronym for "Cybernetic Anthropomorphous Machine".[1] It appeared in a segment of the Walter Cronkite–hosted The 20th Century in 1968.

Operation[edit]

The stepping of the robot was controlled by a human operator through foot and hand movements coupled to hydraulic valves. The complex movements of the legs and body pose were done entirely through hydraulics. The hydraulic fluid and pressure was supplied through an off-board system. The walking truck was one of the first technological hardware design applications to incorporate force feed-back to give the operator a feel of what was happening.

As of 2019, the surviving prototype can be seen at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum in Fort Eustis, Virginia.[3] The robot weighed 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) and could walk up to 5 miles per hour (8 km/h). It was exhausting to control and, according to program lead Ralph Mosher who was the designer and primary driver, operators could only drive the walking truck for a limited time.

Modern Variants[edit]

Plustech, a Finnish subsidiary of American agricultural, construction, and forestry machinery manufacturer John Deere, developed a "Timberjack Walking Machine"[4] or "Walking Tractor" meant to traverse forested terrain. Locomotion is provided by six articulated legs, and it is capable of moving forward, backward, sideways, and diagonally.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Paul Strauss (26 May 2011). "1960s Walking Truck: The First AT-AT?". TechnAbab.
  2. ^ McKerrow, Phillip (1991). Introduction to Robotics. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. ISBN 0-2011-8240-8.
  3. ^ "Experimental Vehicles". Cold War. U.S. Army Transportation Corps Museum.
  4. ^ "Walking Tractor Timberjack by John Deere". The Old Robots Web Site.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]