Current man-portable robotic systems are too heavy for troops to pack during extended missions in rugged terrain and typically require more user support than can be justified by their limited return in force multiplication or improved effectiveness. As a consequence, today’s systems appear organically attractive only in life-threatening scenarios, such as detection of chemical/biological/radiation hazards, mines, or improvised explosive devices. For the long term, significant improvements in both functionality (i.e., perform more useful tasks) and autonomy (i.e., with less human intervention) are required to increase the level of general acceptance and, hence, the number of units deployed by the user. In the near term, however, the focus must remain on robust and reliable solutions that reduce risk and save lives. This paper describes ongoing efforts to address these needs through a spiral development process that capitalizes on technology transfer to harvest applicable results of prior and ongoing activities throughout the technical community.