backtop


Print 66 comment(s) - last by tatoruso.. on Aug 24 at 2:31 PM


  (Source: Gizmodo)
U.S. Army places three gun-toting robots in Iraq

When it comes to robots on the battlefield, the U.S. military has a virtual skunkworks of contraptions roaming the ground and air.

In December, DailyTech reported on the iRobot PackBot which can detect enemy AK-47 gunfire via its Robot Enhanced Detection Outpost with Lasers (REDOWL) system. Just a few months ago, iRobot showed off its SUGV Early (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle) which weighs in at 30 pounds -- this is compared to 44 pounds for the iRobot PackBot.

The U.S. Army is stepping up things in the battlefield robot arena dramatically with its new Special Weapons Observation Remote reconnaissance Direct action System (SWORDS). Three SWORDS robots were deployed in Iraq and their capabilities put human soldiers out of harm’s way.

Each robot can carry up to three M249 machines guns which are controlled by a soldier through a remote terminal. This means that every shot fired will have to be approved by a human -- the robot will not start firing without prior authorization.

As of today, no shots have been fired by the robots on the battlefield.

"Anytime you utilize technology to take a U.S. service member out of harm’s way, it is worth every penny," said John Saitta of Smart Business Advisory and Consulting. "These armed robots can be used as a force multiplier to augment an already significant force in the battle space."

The Army is pleased with the three SWORDS robots that it now has, but has requested an additional 80 for combat use. Unfortunately for the Army, additional funding has not been approved for the purchase.

"As [soldiers] use them and like them, I’ve heard positive feedback, they want 20 more immediately. It’s a shame we can’t get them to them," said SWORDS program manager Michael Zecca.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Funny
By CascadingDarkness on 8/3/2007 3:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't think about it that way. I don't think more guns would increase hit/kill ratio though (suppose testing would be only way to know for sure). It does look like it has a nice large stable base (relatively) and in the video from another post it mentions it's 200lbs. Although the simple fact it's automatic and large caliber means it isn't going to make it too accurate.

My only guess is three guns would be better for suppression. I sure wouldn't want to stick my head out in front of three M249s blasting away. I bet that would be pretty useful for say rearguard to cover as live allies pull back/evac, or even to suppress while humans are advancing/flanking.

Just some guesses on my part. It sure would be sweet to see some video of these in action, even if it was just test live fire against targets with human team counter part. I'd be interested to see to what effect they work with human teams to be effective.


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki