General Electric received a commission to
design the cybernetic walking machine in
1966, and they delivered it to the Army in
August 1970. Its four legs carried 500
pounds of cargo over extremely difficult
terrain that was inaccessible to other
It stood 11 feet tall, walked 5 mph and
was powerful enough to haul a jeep out of a
mud hole. It could also climb over large
obstacles, balance on its diagonal legs, and
push 1,000 pounds across a concrete floor.
Connected to numerous hydraulic
hoses during testing, the
walking machine could climb over
The operator, perched in the top of the
walker, balanced and coordinated the legs
through controls attached to his hands and
Each hip had two swivel movements, and
each knee could bend. A feedback system
allowed the operator to feel the load the
walker was actually encountering, but at
greatly reduced magnitude.
It was surprisingly easy to operate.
With 2 hours practice, an operator could
walk foward and backward, turn around and
balance on two diagonal legs.
In theory, it was a great tool, but it
never made it out of testing. It used 50
gallons of oil per minute, requiring it to
be attached to hydraulic lines at all times.
Army funding was soon cut, and the
responsibility for moving heavy loads up
uneven terrain was transferred to