Electric was commissioned to design the cybernetic walking machine
in 1966, and 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 vehicles.
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 it's diagonal legs and push 1,000 pounds across a
Connected to numerous
hydraulic hoses during testing, the walking machine could
perched in the top of the walker, balanced and coordinated the legs
through controls attached to his hands and feet.
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
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.
was soon cut, and the responsibility for moving heavy loads up
uneven terrain was transferred to