The 20th century was, unfortunately, full of wars, many of which America became entangled in. We were desperate to stop these incessant wars, and, well, as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. In the midst of this, we strove to be on the cutting edge of combat technology.
Spearheading this effort was DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA was, and continues to be, vital to our nation's defense. Among DARPA's accomplishments are ARPANET, the predecessor to the modern World Wide Web; NavSat, an early GPS system; and much more. While it cannot be argued that DARPA has had success in many areas, they've also had their share of failures. But just because some things were failures doesn't mean they wouldn't have been super awesome.
Take, for example, the mechanical elephant, a quadrupedal machine piloted by one person. DARPA began developing this during the Vietnam War as a more efficient way to transport soldiers and equipment through the unforgiving Vietnam terrain:
(photo credit: secretprojects.co.uk)
Look (and sound) familiar?
(photo credit: starwars.wikia.com)
Yeah, it did to me, too. Of course, there are obvious differences: the AT-ACT pictured here is much larger (requiring two pilots) and is much more heavily weaponized than the mechanical elephant. But, I mean, you have to start somewhere, right? Well, obviously DARPA did not think the mechanical elephant (or a force field) were worth further investment, as the mechanical elephant never made it past the design phase. Though I hear that they are currently working on quadrupedal cargo-carrying robots, I want the mechanical elephant back. If there's a petition somewhere to resurrect it, please let me know and I'll sign it.
What do you guys think? Do you wish DARPA hadn't killed off the mechanical elephant? Let me know in the comments below!
I'm a sci-fi/fantasy lover & writer who especially likes talking about Star Wars and futuristic tech. I like finding new things & finding the beauty in old things, especially in my "Everyday Snippets" series. I hope you'll join me on my blog and unleash your imagination!